March 2015 | Rebecca Rego Barry

The 150th Anniversary of Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural

02928v.jpgMarch 4, 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's celebrated second inaugural address. Lincoln delivered the 700-word speech, which touched on the obvious issues of war and slavery, only six weeks before his assassination. Although there have been 35 inaugural speeches since, this one, with its resonant closing phrase, "With malice toward none, with charity for all," still ranks among the best.

Beginning today through Saturday, the Library of Congress will display the fragile original manuscript of Lincoln's speech in the Great Hall of the Library's Jefferson Building. According to the LC's press release, visitors will not only get a rare peek at Lincoln's smudged manuscript but also the printer's proof, which he cut-and-pasted into 27 mini paragraphs to make it easier to read during the inauguration ceremony.

In New York, Lincoln's oratorical skills are honored by the Morgan Library & Museum, whose current exhibition, Lincoln Speaks: Words That Transformed a Nation, runs through June 7.

Image: Lincoln's second inaugural, photo by Alexander Gardner, March 4, 1865. Courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.