Composite image with portraits of JFK and Abraham Lincoln
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Links between Lincoln, JFK and Obama

The anniversaries of the Gettysburg Address and JFK's assassination are just days apart. The BBC's Allan Little considers what links them both with today's America

They are two of the most important dates in American history - and they are just days apart.

Tuesday 19 November marks the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, delivered by President Abraham Lincoln as he tried to bring together a divided nation during the US civil war.

On Friday, 22 November it will be 50 years since President John F Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas, Texas.

Although they occupied the White House a century apart, the two men both sought to use the power of federal government to impose change on conservative states - and made fierce enemies as a result.

BBC Newsnight's Allan Little looks back at two defining moments for the US and asks what history can tell us about the divided country President Obama presides over today.