One of the most famous introductory lines for a speech in history, Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863 on the fields where the Battle of Gettysburg had taken place. On that day, Lincoln was not the keynote speaker (it was actually Edward Everett who spoke for two hours!). In fact Lincoln’s role was simply to “formally set apart these grounds to their sacred use by a few appropriate remarks”. In this seven-minute masterpiece, Lincoln states that “the world will little note what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here”. Ironically, while the Battle of Gettysburg details have faded, the speech at Gettysburg continues in importance to this day – speaking volumes to the power and influence of the spoken word.

Read the Gettysburg Address here.