Abraham Lincoln's most famous speech was delivered at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on November 19, 1863, during the Civil War. Cornell University has one of five known manuscript copies of Lincoln's handwritten speech.

To commemorate the 150th anniversary, University Librarian Anne R. Kenney and Cornell University Library's Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections held a faculty panel discussion and a reading of the Gettysburg Address by President David J. Skorton. The faculty panel included Edward E. Baptist, associate professor of history; Shirley Samuels, professor of English and chair of history of art; and Margaret Washington, professor of history.

Following the reading, the Cornell Glee Club performed "Lincoln the Musician," composed by Toby Twining and directed by Robert Isaacs.