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‘... under God’ omitted from Gettysburg Address

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I was curious as to whether or not there was any particular motivation impelling the Watertown Daily Times to print a copy of the Gettysburg Address (Nov. 16, page C6) omitting the phraseology, “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.”

It appears the paper chose to print an approximation of a preliminary “draft” — the Nicolay Copy. However, the Bliss Copy, which is the version “most often reproduced, notably on the walls of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington ... and the only one signed and dated by [Lincoln]” contains the reference to God (abrahamlincolnonline.org, Speeches & Writings). It would seem that the words contained in the Bliss Copy are in fact those most likely spoken by President Lincoln on that somber day at that hallowed battle field 150 years ago.

Richard Freshour

Three Mile Bay

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