Website urges recitation Gettysburg Address for anniversary - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Celebs, politicians recite Gettysburg Address as it turns 150

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A number of people are reciting the Gettysburg Address for the 150th anniversary. (Source: learntheaddress.org) A number of people are reciting the Gettysburg Address for the 150th anniversary. (Source: learntheaddress.org)

(RNN) - A project is saluting a historic 19th century speech in a 21st century manner.

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address on Tuesday, Learntheaddress.org is challenging people to record themselves reciting the historic address.

So far, a host of noteworthy people have videos of them reciting the Gettysburg Address posted on the site, including President Barack Obama, former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, TV hosts Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Reciters of the Gettysburg Address span the political spectrum, with the likes of former House Speaker and Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schulz joining Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.

Those who wish to participate can either memorize or read aloud the address, upload it on YouTube and send the website the link via a form. The recording will then be added to a multitude of others.

Learntheaddress.org was developed by documentarian Ken Burns and a number of partners, including PBS, National History Day and the National Park Service.

The website stated that Greenwood School in Putney, VT, inspired both the project and an upcoming Burns documentary slated to air in the spring of 2014. The school's student body consists of boys with "learning differences" ages 11-17, who are "encouraged to practice, memorize, and recite the Gettysburg Address."

The National Park Service has scheduled a weeklong celebration at Gettysburg National Military Park in honor of the speech's anniversary, including a wreath-laying, a book signing for Abraham Lincoln scholars, a tree-planting ceremony, a display of Lincoln historical items and the placement of nearly 3,500 luminarias on Civil War soldiers' graves.

The Gettysburg Address had an impact that vastly surpassed the speech's two-minute length. President Abraham Lincoln delivered the address at the opening of the national cemetery in Gettysburg, PA, on Nov. 19, 1863, four months after the Battle of Gettysburg.

The bloodiest battle of the war led to more than 51,000 Confederate and Union casualties, but was a Union victory and generally regarded as the turning point in the Civil War.

The short speech reflected on the larger significance of the Civil War and is regarded, according to Library of Congress, as the "one of the most elegant and eloquent speeches in U.S. history."

According to the Gettysburg Foundation, there are only five manuscript copies of the historic speech left, two in the Library of Congress, one at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL, one at Cornell University and one in the Lincoln Bedroom in the White House.

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