The Washington Post

Apology for Gettysburg Address remarks made 150 years later

This Nov. 19, 1863, photo shows President Abraham Lincoln, center, with no hat, surrounded by a crowd at the dedication of a portion of the battlefield at Gettysburg, Pa., as a national cemetery. (Alexander Gardner/Library of Congress via AP)

“Seven score and ten years ago, the forefathers of this media institution brought forth to its audience a judgment so flawed, to tainted by hubris, so lacking in the perspective history would bring, that it cannot remain unaddressed in our archives,” was how the editorial staff phrased it.

The editorial questioned whether the earlier editorial writer may have been influenced by partisanship or strong drink.

“In the fullness of time, we have come to a different conclusion,” the editorial continued. “No mere utterance, then or now, could do justice to the soaring heights of language Mr. Lincoln reached that day. By today’s words alone, we can exalt, we cannot hallow, we cannot venerate this sacred text, for a grateful nation long ago came to view those words with reverence, without guidance from this chagrined member of the mainstream media.”

The newspaper concluded, “The Patriot-News regrets the error.”


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.