On his way to Gettysburg, Lincoln told a terrible joke
On this presidential train ride to Gettysburg for the consecration of the National Cemetery, President Abraham Lincoln took a quick, eight-minute break in Hanover, PA. “We could see men, women, and children going hurriedly toward the depot to get a good look at the president,” one newspaper reported. Lincoln came out of his train for a brief moment, and without a speech to give, improvised.
“Well, you have seen me, and, according to general experience, you have seen less than you expected to see.” People laughed, and he continued.
“You had the rebels here last summer?” The crowd wearily agreeed.
“Well,” joked Lincoln, “Did you fight them any?” The crowd was silent. Dead silent.
Because not one person had suggested to Lincoln, TOO SOON?
Here’s Lincoln arriving at Gettysburg around noon the next day. He made up for any awkwardness by delivering a mercifully short speech around 3pm.
And yes, it makes this all the better: