Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The greatest of them all

On this day in 1865, Abraham Lincoln (R-IL) delivered his second inaugural address. The President concluded with this classic appeal for magnaminity:

"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."

Hearing that Frederick Douglass (R-MD) was being denied entry to the inaugural ball, Lincoln ordered that he be allowed in. The Great Emancipator greeted him with "Here comes my friend Douglass." Lincoln shook his hand and asked him his opinion of the speech. "Mr. President," Douglass replied, "that was a sacred effort."

Michael Zak