Declaration of Independence

377869 16: (FILE PHOTO) A photographic portrait is displayed showing Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States. Retired physician and medical historian, Norbert Hirschhorn wrote a study that suggests Lincoln''s use of a medication in the form of a blue pill for depression contained enough mercury to cause uncontrollable bouts of anger in the President and could have eventually killed him had he not stopped taking the pills. (Photo by Hulton/Archive/Getty Images)

July 4, 1861: Lincoln addresses a divided nation

As Americans have continued to celebrate the nation’s 245th anniversary in a landscape many would call divided, a speech by President Abraham Lincoln signified the freedoms the nation has historically fought to gain and maintain. The Civil War was just beginning in 1861 when Lincoln convened a special session of Congress to meet on July 4.