When Pope Francis visits Independence Mallin September, he’ll use the same lectern from which President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address.
The so-called Gettysburg Lectern, which is owned by a private collector but has been on loan to the Union League since 2013, where Robert J. Ciaruffoli, president of the World Meeting of Families is a member.
“It’s simple beauty and humble role in one of American history’s most important moments reflect, in many ways, Pope Francis’ own worldview,” Ciaruffoli said in a statement.
Lincoln used the podium to deliver what many consider the president’s greatest speech, which clocked in at just 247 words. It began with a famous math problem: “four score and seven years ago” but it ended with a stunning recitation of American values “this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government, of the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
He delivered the speech about 4 months after the July 1863 battle, which many historians see as the point at which the Union was able to turn the tide against the Confederacy.
The lectern itself has been housed in a case at The Union League, a private club that traces its roots to the Civil War-eraRepublican Party since 2013.
Kira Foley-Tuzman, a spokeswoman for the club, said it is believed that the lectern was used only a few times after Lincoln spoke from it.
It was last used in 2013 when U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alitodelivered a speech from it to commemorate the 150thanniversary of the battle.