Marszalek essay among those honoring historic anniversary

Contact: Allison Matthews

John F. Marszalek
John F. Marszalek

Mississippi State Professor Emeritus John F. Marszalek is among those honoring the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address with an essay displayed at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library through the end of the year.

Marszalek, a Giles Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History and executive director and managing editor of the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library housed at MSU's Mitchell Memorial Library, was invited to contribute his own hand-written remarks to an exhibit titled "272 Words." The exhibit is displayed at the Springfield, Ill., library and museum.

In commemoration of the Gettysburg Address, which was 272 words in length, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation invited a variety of prominent contributors to pen their own thoughts in precisely 272 words in the spirit of the 16th president.

In addition to Marszalek, other contributors include President Jimmy Carter, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, civil rights leader Julian Bond and dozens more. The display periodically changes to showcase the different writers.

"The Gettysburg Address is next to the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution in terms of being a defining statement of what this country has always striven to be," Marszalek said. He added that the "new birth of freedom" was not realized until the Civil Rights Movement of the 20th century.

"It's a battle we're still trying to fight," Marszalek said.

In his own essay, Marszalek addressed the topic of immigration to America.

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Mon, 12/02/2013 - 06:00