A mere 272 words, how could President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address be perhaps the most famous American speech?

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address next week, Allen Guelzo, Civil War historian and professor at Gettysburg College, visited Heritage to tell us why Lincoln’s speech is, in fact, so famous.

“No single American utterance has had the staying power or commanded the respect and reverence accorded the Gettysburg Address,” said Guelzo.

Lincoln took great care to write the Gettysburg Address and spoke of America’s founding “conceived in liberty” and a “government of the people, by the people, for the people” at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery on November 19, 1863, in Gettysburg, PA.

Guelzo delivered his Heritage lecture on November 1 at an event hosted by David Azerrad, director of the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics. The video runs about an hour.