A Gettysburg Address ‘by the people’
A Gettysburg Address ‘by the people’

When Abraham Lincoln spoke of a government “by the people” at Gettysburg, he probably didn’t imagine 150 years later his famous speech would be delivered in the same way.

But the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency has recorded hundreds of people reciting the Gettysburg Address. Children and retirees, veterans and immigrants, couples and families, disabled people and non-English speakers participated.

Video montages of the speakers are set up around the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum leading up to Tuesday’s 150th anniversary of the event in Pennsylvania during the Civil War.

The Historic Preservation Agency and the library hope that more people will record their own versions. Officials say they can post them on YouTube.

Two Bradley University professors are helping to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address with their views of the speech.

English Professor and Illinois Poet Laureate Kevin Stein and Sociology Department Chair Jacqueline Hogan have each written essays that reflect the importance of the famous address.

Their work is part of a historic project called “272 Words” where the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield is collecting essays written in the spirit of the 16th president.

The essay contest is one of a number of ways the state is commemorating the address and Lincoln, who hailed from Illinois.