The Gettysburg Gospel

Reading America’s Most Famous Speech

No presidential speech has been as widely analyzed, memorized, or canonized as Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. It has inspired more words to amplify and celebrate its mere 10 sentences than any oration since the Sermon on the Mount: articles, recitals, chapters, set pieces in films and plays, and, at last count, seven major books, most notably, until now, Garry Wills’s Pulitzer Prize– winning Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America . Read more »

Resources

A book entitled George Nelson in the Compact Design Portfolio series succinctly summarizes its subject’s career in words and pictures. Original Nelson/Harper/Miller clocks are available from dealers who focus on vintage items. One of them, Evan Snyderman of R 20th Century ( www.r20thcentury.com / 212-343-7979), says prices range from less than $2,500 for the most common to the mid-five-figure range for rare ones.Read more »

The Buyable Past

George Nelson Clocks

George Nelson said he got into furniture design by accident, and indeed the architect didn’t actually create many of the mid-twentieth-century modernist icons synonymous with his name. The bubble lamp, the coconut chair, the sling sofa, and others he’s commonly credited with were styled by associates in his New York City office. Read more »

The 3 Faces Of George Washington

How Mount Vernon Rebuilt The First President

What did George Washington really look like? We have a lot of familiar pictures of him, but they never quite agree with one another, and more were made when he was old than when he was young. So when the people who run Mount Vernon, Washington’s estate on the Potomac River in Virginia, wanted exact life-sized likenesses of him at the ages of 19, 45, and 57 for their new visitors’ center, they turned to the tools of forensic anthropology.Read more »

History Now

The 3 Faces of George Washington The Buyable Past Resources The Gettysburg Gospen

Time Machine

25 Years Ago

October 1, 1981 President Ronald Reagan pledges that the United States will not let Saudi Arabia fall into the hands of any power that threatens to cut off its supply of petroleum to the West. The statement seems motivated by fears of an Iran-style revolution. On October 28, after much horse-trading and arm-twisting by Reagan’s aides, the Senate votes, 52–48, to permit sales of AWACS planes and other high-tech military equipment to the Saudis. Read more »

1781 - The World Turned Upside Down

As October began, Gen. Charles Cornwallis and his army of 8,000 redcoats and Hessians knew they were in deep trouble. In late August, after a summer filled with conflicting instructions, they had been ordered to establish a naval base on the Chesapeake. They chose a site at Yorktown, Virginia, set up camp, and waited for the Royal Navy to arrive. It never did. Read more »

What Would The Founders Do Today?

Suppose they could go on "Meet The Press"...

Who cares what the founders would do? Who believes that the experiences, opinions, or plans of men who lived 200 years ago could have any relevance to our problems? Who imagines that the Founders could answer our questions?Read more »

How The Baron Got His Day

Baron von Steuben lay in his northern New York grave more or less forgotten by everyone but scholars of the American Revolution until 1919. Then German-Americans, deeply disturbed by the propaganda generated by World War I, set about reviving him as a symbol of their patriotism. Chapters of the Steuben Society were founded in cities and towns with large German-American populations. During the 1930s they were vociferously anti-Nazi.Read more »

After Valley Forge

Baron von Steuben remained an important officer in the Continental Army until the end of the war. He grew weary of his role as drillmaster and yearned for a fighting command. Washington found him more useful as a spokesman for the army’s needs before Congress. In 1780, when Washington’s great lieutenant Nathanael Greene took command of the shattered Southern Department, Washington sent Steuben with him to help reorganize the battered Southern army.Read more »