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Article posted: 11/18/2013 2:55 PM

Thousands expected for Gettysburg Address event

In this July 1913 photo made available by the Library of Congress, President Woodrow Wilson, third from right, attends a commemoration for the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. After Abraham Lincoln, the first major presidential address at Gettysburg was given at this event by Wilson, who privately ranked Lincoln’s speech as “very, very high,” and offered a vague tribute to national unity that disappointed admirers of a man whose speechmaking had enabled his quick rise from Princeton president to the White House. According to a new biography by A. Scott Berg, Wilson was a reluctant guest of honor. He initially turned down an invitation and gave in only after being warned that the Virginia-born president would be perceived as hostile to a gathering attended by veterans from both sides.

In this July 1913 photo made available by the Library of Congress, President Woodrow Wilson, third from right, attends a commemoration for the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. After Abraham Lincoln, the first major presidential address at Gettysburg was given at this event by Wilson, who privately ranked Lincoln's speech as "very, very high," and offered a vague tribute to national unity that disappointed admirers of a man whose speechmaking had enabled his quick rise from Princeton president to the White House. According to a new biography by A. Scott Berg, Wilson was a reluctant guest of honor. He initially turned down an invitation and gave in only after being warned that the Virginia-born president would be perceived as hostile to a gathering attended by veterans from both sides.

 

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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By Associated Press

GETTYSBURG, Pa. -- Thousands of people are heading to central Pennsylvania to commemorate the Gettysburg Address, a speech that for 150 years has been a source of national identity.

The keynote speakers for the anniversary of the speech Tuesday in Gettysburg are Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and James McPherson, a leading Civil War scholar. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett will also deliver remarks.

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The main event is the reading of President Abraham Lincoln's speech, first delivered in Gettysburg months after the pivotal Civil War battle that left tens of thousands of men wounded, dead or missing.

The event is marked annually at Soldiers' National Cemetery. Last year's commemoration drew some 9,000 people.

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