New Film From Ken Burns, "The Address"

Apr 15, 2014

Watch as students from the Greenwood School memorize, practice and recite the Gettysburg Address.
Credit Courtesy of Lindsay Taylor Jackson / Florentine Films

The Address, a new film from award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns, premieres April 15 at 9 p.m. on West Virginia PBS.  The film tells the story of a tiny school in Putney, Vermont, the Greenwood School, where each year the students are encouraged to memorize, practice and recite the Gettysburg Address. In its exploration of the Greenwood School, the film also unlocks the history, context and importance of President Lincoln’s most powerful address.

The Greenwood School students, boys ages 11-17, all face a range of complex learning differences that make their personal, academic and social progress challenging. The Address reveals how President Lincoln’s historic words motivate and engage these students a century-and-a-half after Lincoln delivered a speech that would go on to embolden the Union cause with some of the most stirring words ever spoken.

Burns and PBS launched LearnTheAddress.org, an initiative that invites people to upload videos of themselves reciting the Gettysburg Address to the project’s web site. To date, the site has accepted thousands of submissions from people across the country.