Pope to use Lincoln’s Gettysburg lectern in Philadelphia

In this photo taken on Sunday, July 12, 2015, Pope Francis smiles as he meets the media during an airborne press conference aboard the airplane directed to Rome, at the end of his Apostolic journey in Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — When Pope Francis speaks outside Philadelphia’s Independence Hall in September, he will stand at the same lectern that President Abraham Lincoln used to deliver the Gettysburg Address.

Later this month, conservators will remove the lectern from its display space at The Union League of Philadelphia to prepare it for the pontiff’s speech.

Photograph: Mathew B Brady/Bettmann/Corbis
Photograph: Mathew B Brady/Bettmann/Corbis

Its loan for the pope’s use Sept. 26 was announced Friday by the Vatican-sponsored World Meeting of Families, which the pope will be attending.

Lincoln used the lectern on Nov. 19, 1863, to dedicate part of the Civil War battlefield at Gettysburg as a cemetery. It’s now one of the most famous speeches in American history.

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