Monsterful Stuff

Only the best...

Renowned Windbag Born This Day

Posted by on
  • Font size: Larger Smaller

Edward Everett, American politician & orator, born April 11, 1794b2ap3_thumbnail_Edward_Everett.jpg

Two hundred and twenty years ago, the world received a child who would grow up to be the man who got upstaged by the Gettysburg Address. At least that's how he is remembered today by the few who remember him. The Hon. Edward Everett was The Featured Speaker, the headline act, you might say, for the consecration of the Gettysburg National Cemetery.

Everett's two-hour speech was delivered from memory and that alone is an admirable feat. His final "farewell to the dust of these martyr-heroes" was supposed to be the rousing ne plus ultra. But, no.

Abraham Lincoln comes in between a hymn and a dirge to deliver his two-minute bit that will go down in history as one of the finest examples of oration in the English language. His address is the one everyone remembers and I daresay that was as true five minutes after the end of the event as it is today.

Everett certainly got schooled about what makes a great communicator. You might expect him to be bitter but he wasn't. He wrote to Lincoln, "I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near the central idea of the occasion in two hours, as you did in two minutes."

Everett gave a beautiful speech that no one remembers. There is a lesson there for us, too, as we communicate with our audiences.

Less is more.

Tagged in: Communications History

For me, fundraising and communications go together like peanut butter and jelly – delicious & filling!

Featured in Alltop