July 4, 1997

Lincoln's Second Inaugural

A show for July 4th weekend. We begin with perhaps the most moving, poetic inaugural speech in American history, and look at its legacy today. In his second inaugural address, Lincoln wondered aloud why God saw fit to send the slaughter of the Civil War to the United States. His conclusion: that slavery was a kind of original sin for the United States, for both North and South, and all Americans had to do penance for it.


Host Ira Glass explains that today's show begins in 1865 and ends today. Ira reads briefly from Lincoln's Second Inaugural address, which describes slavery as America's Original Sin of sorts. (6 minutes)