From “Four Score and Seven Years Ago” to 2022: Baruchians Became Lincolns in APUSH


Isabella Dudley-Flores

The Lincolns in one of Jacob’s AP U.S. History classes. (Lincolns from left to right: Maggie Lee, Kat Valentine, Sam Wagman, Santo Falconieri, Zidan Mahmud, Margaret Macdonald and Lucas Roberts. Also pictured: John Jacobs.)

Ariel Marie Obero and Leo Chen

Almost 200 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the speech known as the Gettysburg Address after the union defeated the confederacy in the Battle of Gettysburg.  The speech is mentioned in the AP US History curriculum, so teacher John Jacobs saw an opportunity to give students extra points during the midterm.

Many students were interested in the 10 points and soon enough, a legion of Lincolns was prowling the halls, ready to deliver the address two centuries after it was first spoken.  The most important part of students’ costumes were the beard and top hat, according to Jacobs.

“I expect 75 percent to 90 percent that said to do it, to do it because with the possibility that they fail, they will believe that they will be perceived by the classmates that are watching them,” he said.

For some juniors, including Lucas Roberts, Joshua Einhorn and Uddeshya Agrawal, memorization was the most difficult part of the preparation process. Nevertheless, they all recited the address on Dec. 22.

“I really enjoyed Uddeshya’s work,” Jacobs said. “He jumped on top of the table and started performing.”

Einhorn thinks he was also successful.

“I imagined how Marlon Brando felt after filming The Godfather, it was just a performance of a lifetime,” he said.

Einhorn and Roberts said they were not anxious about the recitation.“I don’t really get that nervous so it wasn’t really a factor for me, but some people did so I felt bad for them,” Roberts said.

With various students saying, “four scores, seven years ago…”, the Gettysburg Address was turned from a piece of history to something a room full of Lincolns brought to life. 

“I think it was fun to see a lot of people in a different sort of format than I would usually see them as students,” Jacobs said. “That, I think, was especially the point of it.”