Great speeches jolt their listeners upright; then the world changes a little. Washington’s First Inaugural, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, Churchill’s “Finest Hour”, and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream,” top the list of most historians. The words by which we set our compass come from history’s leaders as distant as Demosthenes as humble as Lou Gehrig. What occasioned these messages? Why were they at the right place, at the right time? We’ll read twelve of them, three per week, and discuss their impact on history. The speeches or the links to the speeches will be posted on the Canvas site. Videos will supplement each class.