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Old 11-19-2019, 07:04 AM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
11,824 posts, read 11,346,276 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
Second Inaugural, "with malice towards none, with charity towards all." And no high-paid speechwriters or media consultants on board.
Yep. All of those speeches came from Lincoln's own mind.
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Old 11-19-2019, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
43,739 posts, read 19,181,306 times
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Someone way back mentioned Senator Ted Kennedy's address to the 1980 Convention and I recall how memorable that speech was. There were two reactions:
1. Maybe we have nominated the wrong guy (Carter)
and
2. Why didn't Kennedy speak like this during the campaign rather than the listless, ho hum effort he made?

While President Lincoln tops my list (along with many others apparently), I think the most astonishing speech delivered, of which I am aware, was General Nathan Bedford Forrest's farewell address to his troops after he surrendered. It was surprising for two reasons:
1. Who would have thought the not well educated Forrest had this sort of eloquence in him?
and
2. For someone who believed so fervently in the cause, and who fought so well on its behalf, the address is remarkable in its conciliatory tone.

Here is the complete address: Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest's Farewell Address - May 9, 1865

Some highlights:
Quote:
The terms upon which you were surrendered are favorable, and should be satisfactory and acceptable to all. They manifest a spirit of magnanimity and liberality, on the part of the Federal authorities, which should be met, on our part, by a faithful compliance with all the stipulations and conditions therein expressed. As your Commander, I sincerely hope that every officer and soldier of my command will cheerfully obey the orders given, and carry out in good faith all the terms of the cartel.
.....
Quote:
Civil war, such as you have just passed through naturally engenders feelings of animosity, hatred, and revenge. It is our duty to divest ourselves of all such feelings; and as far as it is in our power to do so, to cultivate friendly feelings towards those with whom we have so long contended, and heretofore so widely, but honestly, differed. Neighborhood feuds, personal animosities, and private differences should be blotted out; and, when you return home, a manly, straightforward course of conduct will secure the respect of your enemies. Whatever your responsibilities may be to Government, to society, or to individuals meet them like men.

The attempt made to establish a separate and independent Confederation has failed; but the consciousness of having done your duty faithfully, and to the end, will, in some measure, repay for the hardships you have undergone.

In bidding you farewell, rest assured that you carry with you my best wishes for your future welfare and happiness. Without, in any way, referring to the merits of the Cause in which we have been engaged, your courage and determination, as exhibited on many hard-fought fields, has elicited the respect and admiration of friend and foe. And I now cheerfully and gratefully acknowledge my indebtedness to the officers and men of my command whose zeal, fidelity and unflinching bravery have been the great source of my past success in arms.

I have never, on the field of battle, sent you where I was unwilling to go myself; nor would I now advise you to a course which I felt myself unwilling to pursue. You have been good soldiers, you can be good citizens. Obey the laws, preserve your honor, and the Government to which you have surrendered can afford to be, and will be, magnanimous.
If you didn't know that this was Forrest, you probably would have guessed a lot of other southern generals first. Lee, Longstreet, Joseph Johnston. But Forrest?
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
47,370 posts, read 38,140,673 times
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This is hard to beat:
Quote:
Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace²but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
https://www.history.org/almanack/lif...ics/giveme.cfm


And then this by Winston Churchill:
Quote:
We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.
I remember watching this speech by Ronald Reagan after the space shuttle Challenger exploded:
Quote:
The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honoured us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for the journey and waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth’ to ‘touch the face of God.’
And Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate:
Quote:
There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
Chief Joseph's surrender speech is heart wrending:
Quote:
Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before, I have it in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our Chiefs are killed; Looking Glass is dead, Ta Hool Hool Shute is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets; the little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are – perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my Chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.
Frederick Douglas on the Fourth of July:
Quote:
I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today?
Jesus Christ's Sermon on the Mount:
Quote:
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after
righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the
children of God.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
This whole speech is terrific but this part by MLK Jr. is absolutely perfect:
Quote:
I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification – one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning “My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father’s died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!”
And finally, Abraham Lincoln's address after the Battle of Gettysburg:
Quote:
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate – we cannot consecrate – we cannot hallow – this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
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Old 11-23-2019, 02:42 PM
Status: "Trump Resistance - The (establishment) Empire Strikes Back" (set 27 days ago)
 
Location: New York Area
17,577 posts, read 6,865,297 times
Reputation: 13554
Maxine Waters and Rashida Tlaib.
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Old 11-29-2019, 03:37 AM
 
Location: London
4,480 posts, read 3,794,312 times
Reputation: 2088

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skrdyoabmgA&t=1s
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Old 11-29-2019, 10:38 PM
 
2,944 posts, read 4,337,468 times
Reputation: 2283
Bill Clinton was the best public speaker I've ever seen in my lifetime. Made everybody feel like they were his best friend and like he was talking directly to people. Quintessential American: Brilliant and a common touch.


John F. Kennedy, from the clips I've seen was also great.



Joel Osteen makes very good speeches.



Churchill, before my time, is often cited.
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Old 12-01-2019, 10:06 AM
Status: "Trump Resistance - The (establishment) Empire Strikes Back" (set 27 days ago)
 
Location: New York Area
17,577 posts, read 6,865,297 times
Reputation: 13554
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay100 View Post
Bill Clinton was the best public speaker I've ever seen in my lifetime. Made everybody feel like they were his best friend and like he was talking directly to people. Quintessential American: Brilliant and a common touch.

John F. Kennedy, from the clips I've seen was also great.

Joel Osteen makes very good speeches.

Churchill, before my time, is often cited.
I don't know Joel Osteen's speeches but the other three, definitely. And even though I don't like him politically, some of Obama's are up there.
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Old Yesterday, 08:27 PM
Status: "eyebrow raised" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Island off the US mainland
94 posts, read 15,141 times
Reputation: 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
Second Inaugural, "with malice towards none, with charity towards all." And no high-paid speechwriters or media consultants on board.
This. And it followed Johnson's unfortunate drunken rant, too, the exact wording of which I am still trying to piece together, but poor Andy got names of Cabinet members wrong and prattled on about being of plebeian origins. It got things off to a poor start. But afterward, the clouds parted outside, and Lincoln essentially spoke with the voice of God:

".. If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

Movingly, he blamed both North and South, rather than just bashing the seceded states.

Then Churchill's "Finest Hour" speech.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4BVzYGeF0M


"... will sink into the abyss of a new dark age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science..."

*sniffle*
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