Happy birthday, Gettysburg Address

150 years ago, President Lincoln delivered what would become one of the most famous and most important speeches in our nation’s history. To commemorate the anniversary, politicians and celebrities have joined together with Ken Burns for a collaborative reading of the speech. The video below features an odd assembly of famous figures, including the likes of Jimmy Carter, Usher, Uma Thurman, and Steven Spielberg, and with 50,000 views so far, the media is already saying it’s gone viral.

Speaking of viral, Wired says Lincoln was “the first president to go viral,” thanks to the brevity of “The Gettysburg Address” and the power of the telegraph.

Lincoln’s address that afternoon, which came after a two-hour speech from famous-at-the-time orator Edward Everett, contained just 272 words, a shockingly short length that allowed it to be transmitted rapidly and become, arguably, one of the first messages from a U.S. president to go viral.

In other important news of the day, Oxford Dictionaries has made “selfie” the word of the year, which is only relevant to this post because I found a picture of Lincoln taking a selfie.

More Like This

An Experimental Novel About Malaysian Chinese Lives in the Aftermath of the May 13 Riots

Li Zi Shu's "The Age of Goodbyes," translated by YZ Chin, centers the struggles of Malaysian Chinese women through decades and generations

Jan 10 - May-Zhee Lim

8 Books About the Impact of the Japanese Imperialism during World War II

Works of fiction that capture the realities of Japan's occupation of other Asian nations

Jan 9 - Cindy Fazzi

7 Northern Irish Books About The Troubles

Michelle Gallen, author of "Factory Girls," recommends literature about the pain, hope and trauma of the conflict in Ireland

Nov 25 - Michelle Gallen
Thank You!