It was a slightly chilly fall day 150 years ago Tuesday that the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, gave what would become the most famous speech in American history before the gathered souls at the field in Gettysburg, PA where a cemetery to the soldiers of both the Union and Confederacy perished during one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.
Robert Costello, a Lincoln impersonator who had been invited to commemorate the landmark anniversary of the speech on the deck of the Mineola Memorial Library, remarked that the weather and the conditions in Mineola, were similar to what the 16th President experienced when he gave that two-minute speech dedicating the cemetery.
Instead of the several thousand gathered around a speakers' platform, Costello's audience Tuesday consisted of only about a hundred or so, nearly all students from the nearby
Mineola Middle School,
Chaminade High School and the St. Martin de Porres School in Uniondale, which is also run by the Marianist Catholic order of brothers.
While the middle school students quickly left following the conclusion of the speech, the Chaminade and St. Martin students stayed for a follow-up question and answer period that lasted nearly two hours in the library's basement consisting of insights into Lincoln's life as well as that of his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, who was portrayed by fellow thespian Cheryl Mustachio.
Get Mineola news on Facebook