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Great Speeches by a Diverse Group of Americans

There are a number of documents and speeches that define American history. In fact, students used to have to memorize some of them. Don't many of us remember at least the first lines of the Preamble to the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Gettysburg Address?

We at OneHistory would like to add to the list. So below you will find a couple of the classics, along with links to important speeches or documents by people who might not have been in earlier history books, but whose words we would do well to remember. If you have any suggestions for speeches we need to add, just drop us a line at

And if you want to find out what all the shoutin' is about, check out our Founding Documents for full text versions of the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Amendments 11-27


Red Jacket

A Speech to the Missionaries, 1805

Maria Stewart

Why Sit Ye Here and Die? 1832

Sojourner Truth

"Arn't I a Woman?" 1851

Frederick Douglass

"The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro," 1852

Lucy Stone

A Disappointed Woman, 1855

Abraham Lincoln

The Gettysburg Address, 1863

Susan B. Anthony

On Being Arrested for Voting, 1872

Chief Joseph

I WIll Fight No More Forever, 1877 and On a Visit to Washington, D.C., 1879

Mary Church Terrell

"The Progress of Colored Women," 1898

"What It Means to be Colored in the Capitol of the United States," 1906

Mary McLeod Bethune

"What Does American Democracy Mean to Me?" 1939

Malcolm X (Coming Soon)

"The Ballot or the Bullet," 1964

Barbara Jordan

Statement on the Articles of Impeachment, 1974

"Who then Will Speak for the Common Good?" 1976

Hillary Rodham Clinton

"Women's Rights Are Human Rights," 1995