'Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address:
An Essay Contest for Middle and High School Students'
Send a link to a friend
[JAN. 14, 2004]
SPRINGFIELD -- C-SPAN, the
nationwide public affairs cable television network, and the Abraham
Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum have announced "Lincoln and
the Gettysburg Address: An Essay Contest for Middle and High School
Students." The contest challenges students to craft their own
thoughts about a "new birth of freedom" in an essay not to exceed
272 words, the length of President Lincoln's Nov. 19, 1863,
Ten winning students will be present at
the grand opening of the
Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield on April 19.
Brian P. Lamb, C-SPAN chairman and
chief executive officer, says about the contest: "Part of C-SPAN's
mission is to look at history as a way to bring context to what
we're seeing today in government and politics. The essay contest
asks students to look closely at a historical speech and to imagine
both its brevity and influence more than 200 years later. We look
forward to reading their opinions about our country in 2005."
The grand prize winner will receive
$1,500 in cash and will have the opportunity to read his or her
essay during the nationally televised museum opening ceremony on
April 19. Nine first-prize winners will receive $750 in cash. All 10
winners, and a parent or legal guardian of each, will be treated to
an all-expenses-paid, five-day "Looking for Lincoln Illinois Road
Trip," beginning April 14 in Springfield, that will take them to
most of the central Illinois locations that were important in
Abraham Lincoln's life.
In addition, 20 students will
receive honorable mention cash prize awards.
"Abraham Lincoln wrote some of the
world's most profound and important documents," said Illinois Gov.
Rod Blagojevich, who is leading the charge to complete the
state-operated Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. "This essay
contest challenges America's youth to reaffirm our Lincoln heritage,
creating their own timeless messages of equality and freedom. I look
forward to welcoming all visitors to our new museum, where Lincoln's
life and words will continue to inspire current and future
Essays must be as close as possible,
but not exceeding, 272 words and reflect the theme "New Birth of
Freedom." Middle school students in grades 6-8 and high school
students in grades 9-12 are eligible to enter. Typed essays and
completed student entry forms must be received in C-SPAN offices by
5 p.m. Eastern time March 1. Winners will be announced by noon
Eastern time on March 11.
Students are encouraged to enter the
contest online. For more information and complete contest rules,
[to top of second column in
Entries will be judged by a panel of
C-SPAN representatives. Winners will be chosen based on the
thoughtful examination of the contest theme, originality of
expression and adherence to the 272-word limit.
C-SPAN, the political network of
record, was created in 1979 by America's cable companies as a public
service. C-SPAN is currently available in 88 million households. For
more information about C-SPAN, visit
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential
Library Foundation is partnering with C-SPAN in the essay contest.
For more information about the foundation, visit
The Gettysburg Address and other
original Lincoln treasures will be displayed at the Abraham Lincoln
Presidential Museum following the building's April 19 grand opening.
The state of Illinois' Lincoln Collection, the world's largest
gathering of pre-presidential Lincoln material, consists of 47,000
items that will be displayed on a rotating basis in the museum's
Treasures Gallery. When not on display, items are housed in the
adjacent presidential library for research purposes.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential
Museum will also feature nearly 50,000 square feet of exhibits,
special effects theaters and displays of original artifacts that
will plunge visitors into Lincoln's life and times. Hundreds of
thousands of visitors each year will be immersed in the Lincoln
story through two state-of-the-art exhibit "journeys" depicting
Lincoln's early years, home life, legal and political careers, and
presidency. The Union Theatre will present "Lincoln's Eyes," a
17-minute show that uses special effects and three screens to
surround the audience with the tragedies and triumphs of Lincoln's
life. The "Ghosts of the Library" theater will amaze audiences as
live actors interact with ghosts onstage to make yesterday and today
The museum will also feature a
children's area, restaurant, gift shop and a 4,500-square-foot
Plaza, expected to be one of the most popular gathering places in
Illinois. The complex will include a welcome center in the restored
1890 Union Station and a parking garage for visitors. The welcome
center and garage are currently under construction. The entire
complex is administered and staffed by the state of Illinois through
the Illinois Historic