Middle School: Seventh Grade thru Eighth Grade, High School: Ninth Grade thru Twelfth Grade
There were three main speakers at the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial on May 30, 1922: Chief Justice William Howard Taft, President Warren Harding and Dr. Robert Moton. Both Taft and Harding remarked on the memorial’s emphasis towards national unity, insisting that emancipation was of secondary importance and a byproduct of war. Dr. Moton, on the other hand, used the occasion to plea for racial justice and claimed the “greatness for Abraham Lincoln lies in this, that amid doubt and distrust, against the counsel of chosen advisers, in the hour of the nation’s utter peril, he put his trust in God and spoke the word that gave freedom to a race.” Analyze and compare the three speeches.
Which speech do you think best reflects the legacy of Abraham Lincoln?
Which speech do you think best reflects the meaning of the memorial?
Which one best reflects your opinion of Abraham Lincoln and the memorial?
Unity: the state of being united or joined as a whole
Emancipation: to free from restraint, control, or the power of another especially to free from bondage
Follow the links to read the three speeches.
Chief Justice William Howard Taft (Internet Archive)
Dr. Robert Moton’s Draft and Speech (Library of Congress American Memory Collection)
President Warren G. Harding (The American Presidency Project at University of California, Santa Barbara)
People - Lincoln Memorial (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)