150 years ago today, President Abraham Lincoln gave his historic Gettysburg Address…or did he? Before we blindly accept this “fact”, it’s worth considering another historical event that took place exactly 50 years ago this week: the Kennedy Assassination. Are the two events related? Of course not. Is there more to this story than we've been taught to believe? You bet your beard there is. Open your eyes, people, and check out these alternative theories on what really went down that day in Gettysburg.
The “Second Speaker” Theory
It’s pretty hard to believe that all of the inspiring words of freedom and equality in The Gettysburg Address could have come from a single president, which is how we arrive at the popular “Second speaker” theory. Is it possible that Lincoln started things off and had someone else finish the job? Perhaps his wife, Mary Todd, speaking in a slightly lower register? Or a tiny man hiding inside his stovepipe hat? We simply don’t know.
The "Grassy Hole" Theory
Lincoln had a great deal of “grass” (which may or may not have been olden-times slang for “beard hair”) around his “hole” (possibly olden times for “mouth"), far too much for his words to be audible in an outdoor setting. If this speech did in fact come from a "grassy hole" (or as we'd call it today, a beardy mouth), there’s simply no way it could have reached the audience without the aid of someone with a less hairy face, like a woman or a tiny man (which of course ties back to the “Second Speaker” theory discussed earlier).
The “Lincoln, Lincoln, What You Thinkin’?” Theory
We may have the transcript of the famed speech that supposedly took place on November 19th, 1863, but how do we know these words were actually spoken out loud? The “Lincoln, Lincoln, What You Thinkin’?” theory posits that Abraham Lincoln arrived at Gettysburg, stood up and proceeded to only think the Gettysburg Address, quietly to himself, leaving puzzled onlookers to wonder “Lincoln, Lincoln...what you thinkin’?” Now, before you dismiss this theory as "paranoid" or "very stupid", think of it this way: do we have any proof that he did say it out loud? It's not like there were microphones there, right? Which brings us to our next theory:
The "Missing Microphone" Theory
It's a well known fact that there were no microphones in 1863 and that the earliest known recording of an American president was not until Benjamin Harrison in 1889, but what we don't know is why? Had Lincoln purposely suppressed advancements in recording and amplification technology to keep there from being definitive proof that his address took place? Can any one of us deny that The Gettysburg Address would have been THE perfect speech to end by dropping the mic triumphantly? Someone clearly had a vested interest in holding back the development of the microhpone. It's the electric car all over again.
Lincoln photographed on the day of the Gettysburg Address. Notice that his mouth is conveniently obscured.
The “It Was All Faked on a Movie Set” Theory
This theory is widely dismissed as “crazy” due to the “fact” that movies did not “exist” at the time…But think about it, wouldn’t an unbelievable speech by arguably our greatest president make for a good first movie? What is the "official" first movie? A few frames of some horse walking? Please. And wasn’t Daniel Day-Lewis’s recent performance as Lincoln a little too believable? Almost as though he had actually seen the president playing himself in another movie? I’m not saying that the cast of Lincoln had access to some secret 1863 film starring the real Abraham Lincoln, but I’m not not saying that either.
The “Bush Knew” Theory
You might want to sit down for this one: According to reputable website genealogyblog.geneanet.org, Abraham Lincoln was George W. Bush's seventh cousin, five times removed. BUT THAT’S NOT ALL: Marilyn Monroe, who is tied to several conspiracy theories involving none other than John F. Kennedy, is Bush's ninth cousin, three times removed! Don’t ask me how it all fits together, but if you believe this is merely a series of coincidental, distant genealogical connections occurring long after Lincoln was already dead, then “mission accomplished” - you are a sucker.
The “Abraham Lincoln Was a Lizard” Theory
We have literally no way to prove he wasn’t.