From a soaring-oratory standpoint, it just doesn't get much better than the Gettysburg Address,
the 269-word masterpiece delivered on Nov. 19, 1863
, in which President Abraham Lincoln showed that blowhard who talked at your high school graduation how it's done.
In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Address, coming up on Nov. 19, PBS and director Ken Burns
— who is working on a new documentary called "The Address,"
which will debut in April 2014 — have launched a website
aimed at getting Americans to learn and recite Lincoln's address, which helped strengthen the faith and resolve of the Union during the bloodiest days of the Civil War.
On the website are posted videos of famous Americans reading the Gettysburg Address,
including Bill Clinton
(seen knocking it out of the park in the video above), plus Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe
, President Barack Obama
, film director Steven Spielberg,
former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords
, Colbert Report host Stephen Colbert,
and dozens of others. Still moving, after all these years. Pretty good for an author who opined "the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here..."
Just because it's so lovely, here's the six minutes from Ken Burns' 1990 documentary series "The Civil War,"
concerning the Gettysburg Address. Goosebumps, man. Goosebumps.