On November 19, 1863, at the dedication of a military cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln delivers one of the most memorable speeches in American history. In just 272 words, Lincoln brilliantly and movingly reminded a war-weary public why the Union had to fight, and win, the Civil War. Lincoln’s address lasted just two or three minutes. The speech reflected his redefined belief that the Civil War was not just a fight to save the Union, but a struggle for freedom and equality for all, an idea Lincoln had not championed in the years leading up to the war. This was his stirring conclusion: “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Find the Gettysburg Address at the library, on hoopla, OverDrive Avalon and OverDrive – South Jersey Audiobook & eBook Download Center.
On November 19, 1942, the Soviet Red Army under General Georgi Zhukov launches Operation Uranus, the great Soviet counteroffensive that turned the tide in the Battle of Stalingrad. In their attempt to take Stalingrad, the German Sixth Army faced General Vasily Zhukov leading a bitter Red Army employing the ruined city to their advantage, transforming destroyed buildings and rubble into natural defensive fortifications. In a method of fighting the Germans began to call the Rattenkrieg, or “Rat’s War,” the opposing forces broke into squads eight or 10 strong and fought each other for every house and yard of territory. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was determined to liberate the city named after him, and in November he ordered massive reinforcements to the area. On November 19, General Zhukov launched a great Soviet counteroffensive out of the rubble of Stalingrad. German command underestimated the scale of the counterattack, and the Sixth Army was quickly overwhelmed by the offensive, which involved 500,000 Soviet troops, 900 tanks, and 1,400 aircraft. Within three days, the entire German force of more than 200,000 men was encircled. Find the Battle of Stalingrad at the library and on hoopla.
Thomas Francis “Tommy” Dorsey, Jr., trombonist, trumpeter, composer, and bandleader of the Big Band era, was born in Mahony Plane, PA, on November 19, 1905. He was known as the “Sentimental Gentleman of Swing”, because of his smooth-toned trombone playing. Dorsey’s technical skill on the trombone gave him renown amongst other musicians.He was the younger brother of bandleader Jimmy Dorsey. After Dorsey broke with his brother in the mid-1930s, he led an extremely popular and highly successful band from the late 1930s into the 1950s. He is best remembered for standards such as “Song of India”, “Marie”, “On Treasure Island”, “The Music Goes ‘Round and Around”, and “You”. Listen to the “Sentimental Gentleman of Swing” at the library, on hoopla and at Freegal.