A Score is Twenty Years
A score is equal to twenty years, so when President Abraham Lincoln stated four score and seven years ago in the Gettysburg Address, on November 19, 1863, he was referencing 87 years prior or 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed.1
I taught school for twenty-six years, and I made all my students memorize the Gettysburg Address. The Gettysburg Address is a great speech for students to practice public speaking before their twenty plus classmates.
Here is Lincoln’s speech.
By Abraham Lincoln
“Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live.
It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract.
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 here 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.”2
Video: The Gettysburg Address
1 Friedman, Megan. “Seven Score and Seven Years Ago: What You Don’t Know about the Gettysburg Address.” Published November 19, 2010. Retrieved July 8, 2022, from Seven Score and Seven Years Ago: What You Don’t Know About the Gettysburg Address | TIME.com
2 Gettysburg Address. Encyclopedic entry in the National Geographic Resource Library. Retrieved July 8, 2022, from
Every Friday, I join an online Christian writing community, Five Minute Friday. We are given a one-word prompt and write – unscripted, unedited, pure free-write – for 5 minutes. The prompt this week is twenty.