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OPINION - The Nicolay text

by Chris Conley

NEWS BLOG (WSAU)   I have a correction from yesterday’s News Blog. There is a possible explanation as to why President Obama omitted the words ‘under God’ from his recitation of the Gettysburg Address. Filmmaker Ken Burns says Obama read from the John Nicolay text of the speech. (Nicolay was one of President Lincoln’s personal secretaries; his copy of the speech does not include ‘under God.’ The copy, in Lincoln’s handwriting, was made before the speech was actually made. It’s considered to be a rough draft.)

This explanation isn’t quite satisfying, since Barack Obama reads from the standard text everywhere else. It’s not clear why the President would read, or be given to read, the Nicolay text.