ON THIS DAY IN UNITED STATES HISTORY
March 23, 1775
The Founding Father, Patrick Henry, Delivers His
"Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" Speech
On this day in 1775, Patrick Henry delivered one of the more famous speeches in American history. It was
delivered to the Virginia Convention at St. John's Church and is thought to have helped sway opinion towards
sending troops to fight in the American Revolutionary War. Present at that famous speech were future Presidents
Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.
Although the speech was not recorded on paper at the time, American author William Wirt has been credited for
having created a fairly accurate re-creation of the speech based on eye witness accounts. This re-creation, which
he published in 1816, contains various quotes from the speech, the most famous occuring in closing when he said
"... Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty
God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"