Celebrating the most famous 272 words in history
Presidential Library and Museum offers music, drama, education to
mark 150th anniversary of Gettysburg Address
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[November 07, 2013]
SPRINGFIELD -- The memories of a
girl who witnessed the Battle of Gettysburg. The Gettysburg Address
set to music. The inspiring words of great leaders. A beautiful
documentary. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
offers all of that and more in November to mark the 150th
anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.
library and museum's Union Theater will present free entertainment
and educational events Nov. 18, 20 and 24 as part of a week of
special anniversary activities.
Nov. 18 brings a mix of music and dramatic
readings. The memories of a 15-year-old girl who witnessed the
battle and tended the wounded will be brought to life by actress
Nancy Diefenback reading from "At Gettysburg, or What a Girl Saw and
Heard of the Battlefield."
That will be followed by readings from "Team of Rivals," Doris
Kearns Goodwin's prize-winning history of the Lincoln presidency.
The presentation concludes with a special musical performance of
the Gettysburg Address. Ten voices will combine to present a version
of the speech set to stirring music. The piece was composed by
University of Pennsylvania music director Bruce Montgomery in 1963
for the 100th anniversary of the speech.
The readings and music will be performed at 8 and 10 p.m. as part
of an evening vigil leading up to midnight and the arrival of the
On Nov. 20, Union Theater hosts a special round table of
historians discussing the address and its legacy, followed by a
dramatic presentation based on speeches inspired by the Gettysburg
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On the panel are James Cornelius, curator of the presidential
library's Lincoln Collection; Martin Johnson, author of "Writing the
Gettysburg Address"; Holly Kent, a history professor at the
University of Illinois at Springfield; and Daniel Stowell, director
of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln. They'll explore the meaning and
legacy of the speech.
Part of the legacy is the way Lincoln's speech inspired others.
After the round table, a special presentation will dramatize that
inspiration as actors read portions of other speeches delivered at
Gettysburg. They'll present the words of Woodrow Wilson, Lyndon
Johnson, Dwight Eisenhower, Tom Brokaw and more.
Finally, on Nov. 24, Union Theater will screen the documentary
"The Gettysburg Story," a gorgeous look at the battlefield,
Lincoln's speech and their place in history. Filmmaker Jake Boritt
will be on hand to answer questions from the audience.
The movie runs at 3 p.m. Reservations for this free event can be
For details on the events, visit
www.GettysburgAddress150.com. To make reservations, visit
www.presidentlincoln.illinois.gov and click on "special
Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
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