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Interesting US History
A Website Devoted to Interesting Events in U.S. 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!"