Muammar al-Gaddafi should have spent at least 20 minutes talking about his fashion trends, because that would have been more interesting. Seriously, have you seen the way this man dresses? I wonder if he just rambled on because no one would let him pitch his tent. Now, I speak about five phrases in Arabic, and I can't write or read it, but this picture of his notes doesn't make it seem there was a lot there. So he's good at improvising. Still at 96 minutes, Gaddafi is about 3 hours behind Fidel Castro, who holds the record for longest speech given before the General Assembly.
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Gavin Newsom almost beat Hugo Chavez's record for longest speech when he gave his state of the city address. The mayor of San Francisco spoke on familiar environmental themes, and was only 30 minutes short of beating Chavez's record of 8 hours. Next time, Gavin, do a little song and dance number. Sugarhill Gang's Rapper's Delight is over 15 minutes long.
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Fidel's thrilling speech on "The Denouncement of Imperialism and Colonialism" is the longest speech given before the UN General Assembly, lasting almost 4 1/2 hours. Castro is known for his beard and his lengthy interminable speeches, the longest clocking in at 7 hours and 10 minutes from the 1986 Communist Party Congress. I wonder if he just tells stories about Che Guevara and how wild and crazy those revolutionary times were.
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Edward Everett delivered a 13,607 word speech, clocking in at 2 hours to a distinguished crowd at Gettysburg in 1863, just to have every word immediately forgotten when President Abraham Lincoln gave his famous three minute address just moments later. Lesson: It's not how much you say, it's what you say.
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William Henry Harrison holds the record for giving the longest and deadliest inauguration speech. He spoke for about two hours braving the weather on that cold and rainy day, wearing neither an overcoat nor a hat. Actually, he is not brave, but rather, an idiot, because he died of pneumonia 31 days later. But he's in the history books for 1) longest inaugural speech and 2) Shortest Presidency. Way to go, William Hank.
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In Stalin's defense (wow I never thought I'd start a sentence with that phrase) he only spoke at length when delivering Central Committee reports at Congress. And in these reports he had to address economical, political, cultural and foreign policy developments and predictions of f*ture happenings for the next 10 to 20 years. So it's understandable that speeches would drag on and on. Oh if you wanted to leave during the speech, that's cool. You'd just be arrested the next day, even after one account of an 11 minute standing ovation. That's a lot of sore hands.
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