So there I was, as I often am, chasing down some reference or other that has nothing to do with the point at hand, and I stumbled over the fact that it was only 160 years ago today, on November 19, 1863 (what a very young country this still is), that a President of the United States of America stood to dedicate a battlefield and commemorate the recently slain in his country’s Civil War, and said these words:
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate we can not consecrate we can not hallow, this ground The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.
It is rather for us, the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Would you believe there are photos? The one at the top of this post belongs to the US Library of Congress (Lincoln, BTW is slightly left of center, in the upper third). The following one is credited to Alexander Gardner, photographer, from November 19, 1863, and is also from the Library of Congress, Civil War Glass Negatives and Related Prints (click to embiggen either or both):
Just thought it might be worth mentioning.
I cannot predict what the next 160 years will bring. Have at it.