How do you read Abraham Einstein’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ speech?
Or John F. Kennedy’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech (or even John F Kennedy’s “I’m a Citizen of the United States of America”?) and what did Lincoln’s speech in the summer of 1863 say about the Civil War?
Here’s a list of the most interesting quotes from the speeches, as compiled by the University of Texas at Austin’s Dr. Elizabeth Cottle and the Texas Historical Association.
Lincoln and Kennedy quote:The First Amendment is the supreme law of the land, the foundation upon which all rights are built.
No government can alter or violate that law except by a two-thirds vote of the legislatures.
No other law is more important to the future of this country.
This is a solemn declaration of the fundamental rights and duties of the people, and of the government.
Lincoln’s quote about the war and its consequences is particularly striking.
He spoke of a new world order in which “everybody can make and make as he pleases and he can do what he pleasses, as he chooses, and the people will never be subjected to any restraint.”
He continued:That is the kind of world I believe the United Kingdom has entered, and I believe it will never go out.
It is a world of peace, prosperity, freedom, and justice.
That is the American dream, and that is the dream of a republic that is secure and free.
I think that America will never again have war.
Lincoln, who was an ardent supporter of the South, had a different view of the war.
He said,In this age of peace and prosperity, there is no reason why the South should not make the most of the blessings of a free, independent, and united America, and should, if possible, have as many slaves as the people of the country will accept.
The South should be free and independent.
Lincoln quotes:No one can deny the right of the American people to keep and bear arms for defense of themselves and their property against foreign invasion.
The Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms.
The right to keep a bearable gun and a bearably trained firearm.
The second amendment to the constitution protects the right, by reason of its application, to keep all men within the limits of arms.
There are some people in the South who do not like this amendment.
I would advise them to ask themselves why they are in such a hurry to change the Second Amendment to make it impossible for them to bear a gun.
The answer is that the Second amendment has been interpreted as a guarantee of an absolute right to carry weapons wherever they may be.
I did not say that, sir.
I do not think it was a right to have guns wherever you went.
That was a personal choice, and it was made by the people.
I have no doubt that the people in some states would have been better off without having a right of carrying guns.
Lincoln quoted:This was a period when the South was in a great ferment.
The Negro was at the forefront of the civil rights movement, and they were fighting for the right for the Negro to vote and for the first time to have a voice in the government, which was under their control.
They were doing everything in their power to secure that right for themselves.
Lincoln said:The South was also fighting the Civil Rights movement, for they were losing in the courts, they were having a hard time getting the votes in the legislature, and their political future was slipping away.
Lincoln was not speaking as a defender of slavery, but he was a champion of the rights of freedmen.
He was speaking against the racist Jim Crow laws, and he was speaking for all African Americans who felt that they were being oppressed.
He also said:I have said that in every great struggle against tyranny and injustice, it is a mistake to think that one side is better than the other.
Lincoln wrote about his own experience as a slave and a free man in a letter to a fellow slave named Abraham.
He had been released from a North Carolina plantation, where he had been raised, and was on his way home when a white man from Virginia offered to buy him.
Lincoln didn’t feel comfortable with the offer.
He told the slave that if he could get a slave vote in North Carolina, the slave would be free.
Abraham was stunned.
He called Lincoln a hypocrite and said,You have not only stolen from me, but you have also stolen from my people.
Lincoln never wrote about this because he was afraid of what would happen to the people he had enslaved.
Lincoln thought he was being racist when he wrote:I did not feel that I was being discriminated against.
Lincoln spoke about a new system of governance.
He wrote:If we are to have any hope of lasting a peaceful existence in this country, we must find a way of working together as one people