Today marks the one hundred and sixty-fifth birthday of the American poet Emma Lazarus. I’ve said this before, but I believe it worth repeating. There are a tiny handful of documents that sing to the world our American dream. Thomas Jefferson’s preamble to the Declaration of Independence. Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Address. Perhaps Henry Thoreau’s On Civil Disobedience. Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms section of his 1941 State of the Union speech.
And, that sonnet, which Lazarus wrote and is inscribed so rightly at the base of the Statue of Liberty.