President Obama opted to leave out the words “under God” in his rendition of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address filmed for a website put together by documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.
It’s a curious omission, particularly because, according to eyewitnesses, Lincoln is said to have used the words “under God” when he delivered the address on November 19, 1863 — 150 years ago Tuesday.
There are five widely-accepted handwritten drafts of the Gettysburg Address: the Bliss Copy, the Nicolay Copy, the Hay Copy, the Everett Copy and the Bancroft Copy — each named for the people who first received them, according to Abraham Lincoln Online.
Three of those drafts — Bliss, Everett and Bancroft — include the words “under God” in the speech’s final sentence.
But the other two drafts — Nicolay and Hay — are thought to be the only two from which Lincoln would have read from that autumn day.
In his YouTube video, Obama reads the Nicolay Copy.