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US paper sorry for calling Lincoln speech ‘silly’

November 14, 2013

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (AP) — It took 150 years, but a U.S. newspaper said Thursday it should have recognized the greatness of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address instead of dismissing it as “silly remarks.”

The Patriot-News of Harrisburg retracted a critical editorial published by its Civil War-era predecessor, The Harrisburg Patriot & Union.

The president’s speech to dedicate a soldiers’ cemetery is now considered a triumph of American oratory. But the retraction notes the newspaper’s November 1863 coverage said the speech amounted to “silly remarks” that deserved a “veil of oblivion.”

The paper now says it regrets the error of not seeing the speech’s “momentous importance, timeless eloquence and lasting significance.”

During the Civil War, the Patriot & Union was opposed to Lincoln.

An event for the 150th anniversary of the speech is scheduled for Tuesday in Gettysburg.

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