"I Heard Lincoln That Day"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dedication of the Civil War cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863. National Archives

Dedication of the Civil War cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863

Here’s a treat from the WNYC Archives, on this the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. Recorded in 1938, this is William R. Rathvon, the only known eyewitness of both Lincoln's arrival at Gettysburg and the address itself to have left an audio recording of his recollections.

Rathvon was nine years old when he and his family personally saw Lincoln speak at Gettysburg. One year before his death in 1939, Rathvon's reminiscences were recorded on February 12, 1938, at the Boston studios of radio station WRUL.

Thanks to WNYC archivist, Andy Lanset


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Comments [2]


Jun. 06 2013 01:56 PM

I wish there were more. This is good, but the gentlemen never really discussed his attendance at the Gettysburg address. It seems he was just reading a prepared statement praising Lincoln. I guess nothing was done extemporaneously back in those days!

Feb. 12 2009 09:06 AM

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