Director Ken Burns, PBS and Washington, D.C. public television station WETA have launched a campaign encouraging Americans, especially students, to memorize and recite Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in honor of its 150th anniversary on Nov. 19, in conjunction with Burns’ documentary “The Address.”
The online campaign is calling for video submissions between today and the PBS air date of the documentary, April 15 of next year, and has already culled some big names. Famous faces who have submitted videos include President Barack Obama, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Louis CK, Stephen Colbert, Bill Gates, Taylor Swift, Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O’Brien and more.
Beginning today, the videos will be uploaded to the site at learntheaddress.org.
“‘The Address’ is an extraordinary film that directly connects this historic speech with people today, making history come alive in the way only Ken and his team can accomplish,” said Beth Hoppe, chief programming executive and general manager of general audience programming at PBS, in a statement. “Through our social media platforms and extensive outreach arm, along with those of local stations, we hope to create a national moment to celebrate our history and our country today.”
“The Address” tells the story of the Greenwood School in Putney, Va., where the students, boys ages 11-17, are encouraged to memorize, practice and recite the Gettysburg Address.
Also in conjunction with the anniversary of the address, PBS will air “Lincoln@Gettysburg” on Nov. 19, documenting Lincoln’s use of the telegraph and its impact on the Gettysburg Address.
“The Address” is a production of Florentine Films and WETA.