Presidents, Celebrities Recite Gettysburg Address to Commemorate Nov. 19 Anniversary

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From President Obama to singer Taylor Swift, politicians, celebrities and media personalities are commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address by reciting and recording Abraham Lincoln’s speech.


The video, created by filmmaker and documentarian Ken Burns, is part of the Learn the Address campaign. The campaign aims to engage people in the meaning of the historic speech.

Burns is also producing a documentary for PBS on the speech called The Address. Leading up to that premiere in April, he is asking people to submit their own reading of the two-minute speech as part of the Learn the Address campaign.

The latest video in the collection is a Burns mashup of notable figures such as Shane Victorino, Uma Thurman and Usher reading the speech that is just oh-so Burns-y, with its melodramatic historical music and paced reading. Side note, Usher missed his calling as a documentary narrator.

Celebrities, like Louis C.K. and Jerry Seinfeld, also recited and discussed the Gettysburg Address.

“He could just spit it out because he lived this,” Louis C.K. said about the speech’s brevity “Consecrated is a little overused. Maybe ‘consecrate’ was big then.”


You can submit your own reading of The Gettysburg Address here.