Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address begins with the words, “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.” A score is another way of saying 20, so Lincoln was referring to the Declaration of Independence and the year 1776, which was 87 years before the year 1863. The battle at Gettysburg was not only a battle between Northern and Southern states; in Lincoln’s eyes, it was a battle for the preservation of that new nation that was conceived 87 years before.

In his speech, Lincoln said that the United States would continue to fight so that the whole world could enjoy freedom and equality. At the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, the text of the Gettysburg Address is carved into one of the walls beside the statue of President Lincoln. Two draft versions are preserved at the Library of Congress and can be viewed online.