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Ken Burns Invites You to Join WETA on the National Mall and Recite the Gettysburg Address

We are excited to invite you to participate in an extraordinary initiative encouraging all Americans to recite the Gettysburg Address. Please join WETA at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool Steps and Plaza on Wednesday, April 16 and Saturday, April 19 between noon and 4 pm with your friends, family, neighbors, students or colleagues to read the Gettysburg Address. The effort is part of the national outreach campaign created by production partners Ken Burns and WETA that began last November to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s famous speech, one of the most notable and eloquent orations in our nation’s history.

Lincoln Memorial Map

WETA camera crews will tape members of the public who wish to participate, and we will upload videos to the WETA/Florentine Films website People are welcome to recite the Address alone or together in small groups. The words to the Address will be provided onsite. Please note that videos will be used exclusively on; they will not be televised.

The videotaping at the Reflecting Pool on April 16 and April 19 is open to the public, and we encourage you to share this information with anyone you think might be interested in joining in this historic initiative. For those unable to attend on April 16 or 19, self-made videos may be uploaded directly to

To learn more about the project and familiarize yourself with the words to the Bliss version of the Gettysburg Address, please visit, where you also can view videos of those who have already participated.


The project, launched by WETA and Ken Burns, challenges all Americans, particularly students, to recite the Gettysburg Address and submit a personal video of the reading online at The website has received thousands of videos, including those featuring the five living U.S. presidents, comedians, sports stars, performing artists, and people from all walks of life.

ABOUT The Address, Premiering April 15 at 9 pm

The online initiative is inspired by the upcoming film The Address, a co-production of Florentine Films and WETA, that will air April 15 at 9 pm on WETA TV 26, WETA HD and PBS stations nationwide. The 90-minute documentary follows 50 boys at the Greenwood School in Putney, VT, where each year the students — who all face a range of complex learning differences — are encouraged to memorize, practice and recite the Gettysburg Address. 

Weather Hotline

In the event of inclement weather, please call 703.998.2065 on the day you are planning to head to the Reflecting Pool to confirm that the WETA videotaping will proceed as scheduled.

Please contact Chloe Kougias at or 703.998.2086 with any questions.


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