Provo High School history teacher Brian Preece organized a flash-mob-style reading of the Gettysburg Address on the anniversary of the famous speech. After a short lesson on the Battle of Gettysburg, Preece led approximately 200 students in the recitation of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
Preece organized the event as a way to involve Provo High students in a major historical anniversary celebration.
“When planning the event, I wanted to actually do the recitation at the nearest exact time we could. President Lincoln was supposed to give the address at 3:00 p.m. eastern standard time but was delayed as the previous speaker was having some ‘stomach’ issues. So by reading [the address] at 1:20 p.m. or so after a brief lesson on the Battle of Gettysburg, we were probably pretty close to the hour and minute of the speech, 150 years later.”
In his lesson Preece talked about the Battle of Gettysburg, reminding students that it was a turning point of the Civil War. Approximately 50,000 souls were lost in the three-day battle and there are estimates of over 15,000 deaths during Pickett’s Charge on day three, the deadliest 45 minutes in U.S. military history. He further reminded the students that, though while the Union was now winning the war, the war itself would drag on for nearly two more years. Preece said Lincoln’s primary goals were to free the slaves and keep the Union together, the latter allowing the United States to reach its full potential as a nation. Lincoln, while realizing the importance of Union victory as defending the values espoused by the Declaration of Independence, was also cognizant of the ultimate sacrifice that soldiers in both sides of the conflict made during this epic battle.
Thanks, Mr. Preece, for organizing the lesson and the recitation!