When I was in elementary school, anyone who wanted to sound
particularly erudite might drop the line, “Four score and seven years ago…”.
Much like the Scarecrow mis-stating the Pythagorean Theorem at the end of The Wizard of Oz, none of us knew what a
“score” was and only the real smart-alecks knew this phrase was the beginning
of the Gettysburg Address.
ten-sentence address, delivered four and a half months after the bloody battle
at the dedication of a military cemetery, left an impact on American culture as
enduring as the cannonballs still embedded in Fort Sumter's walls. Even
elementary school kids can recite the opening lines. Running only two minutes,
the Gettysburg Address is one of the shortest presidential speeches in history
– and many of the 15,000 people who witnessed its delivery didn't even hear it! A photographer setting up his camera distracted many of the audience members,
and they missed one of the most cherished moments in American history.
because they missed out on a great moment, doesn’t mean you have to.
Applications are currently being accepted for a non-credit seminar taught by
our very own college president Dr. DeRionne Pollard. In the course, Conversations of Consequence: U.S.
Presidential Speeches that Changed History, students will examine various U.S.
Presidential speeches and discuss the impact of these speeches on American
society and history.
We know that the delivery of the
Gettysburg Address was less than a Braveheart
moment, and left little immediate impact on the audience members cleaning their
ears and murmuring in confusion as they watched their president leave the
podium. In the time since then, however, the American public has taken cultural
ownership of an incredibly brief speech delivered by a president so unpopular
that seven states left the union in
response to his election. Those ten sentences could have easily sunken into
obscurity, but didn’t. Why? All this and more can be discussed with Dr. Pollard
in this course!
As a culminating activity, students
will take a fieldtrip to Washington, DC to see the inauguration of the next
American president and witness history in the making. Space is limited for this
unique opportunity to take a class with your college president. Applications
are due July 31.
Don’t be left scratching your head as
historical events unfold around you. Apply now!