Gettysburg Address was delivered by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. The Civil War battlefield was being dedicated as a national cemetery. While keynote speaker Edward Everett spoke for more than two hours, Lincoln’s speech lasted just two minutes. However, the speech stands today as one of the best pieces of oration ever written. The Library of Congress stores the actual written speeches. Children can read the words of the Gettysburg Address at: Gettysburg Address.
Emancipation Proclamation was declared by Abraham Lincoln in 1863, ending slavery. Children could read Dennis Brindell Fradin’s book, Emancipation Proclamation. Children could also read a transcript of the original document at: Emancipation Proclamation.
West Virginia became the thirty-fifth state of the United States in 1863. It seceded from Virginia in 1861. Its nickname is the Mountain State, and the capital is Charleston. The state ranks forty-first in area and thirty-fifth in population. Today much of its income comes from farming and coal mining. Children can visit a website at: West Virginia. Idea: Since Charleston is the capital, children could learn to dance the Charleston.
The Battle of Gettysburg began in 1863. Many experts call this battle the turning point of the Civil War. Confederate General Robert E. Lee led his troops across the Mason-Dixon Line, heading for Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. However, the northern troops, led by General George Mead, met the Confederate troops at Gettysburg. The battle lasted for three days. On the last day of the battle, the rebel troops commenced Picket’s Charge. Fifteen thousand troops tried to assail the Union’s position. The northern troops held, and Lee lost the battle. Idea: Children could make a timeline of the battle. Michael Shaara’s book, Killer Angels, offers in-depth looks at the people fighting on both sides. Children could visit a website at: http://www.nps.gov/gett/index.htm.