Press Releases


April 4, 2014

Ken Burns, PBS and MPTV are collaborating on an initiative to challenge everyone across the country, especially students, to read the Gettysburg Address aloud. The project runs through April 15, when Burns' THE ADDRESS airs on Tuesday, April 15 at 8:00 PM on MPTV 10.

November 19, 2013 marked the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, and Burns felt this was an opportunity for all Americans to revisit Lincoln's message in the darkest days of the Civil War. "We challenge the rest of America to try to memorize the Gettysburg Address and we hope it will be among the greatest mass memorizations in history," he said.

The campaign encourages people from all walks of life to submit their own videos, and anyone can do so by visiting These videos will also be uploaded to the project's national website.

Several prominent Milwaukeeans have already done so, including Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee Wave Owner Sue Black, Milwaukee Brewers Announcer Joe Block, Milwaukee County Sherriff David Clarke, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn, Miss Wisconsin Paula Mae Kuiper, MPS' Dr. Gregory Thornton, and MPTV General Manager Ellis Bromberg as well as several on-air MPTV personalities. The project has also received participation from national leaders including Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Warren Buffet, Carol Burnett, Bill Gates, Whoopi Goldberg, Jimmy Kimmel, Alyssa Milano, Rita Moreno, Conan O'Brien, Bill O'Reilly, Robin Roberts, Jerry Seinfeld, Bob Schieffer, Steven Spielberg, Martha Stewart, Taylor Swift, Usher and more.

THE ADDRESS, a new film from award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns, is a 90-minute feature-length documentary. 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.

About MPTV
Milwaukee Public Television (MPTV) is southeastern Wisconsin's premier non-commercial media organization. MPTV consists of two high-definition television stations, WMVS and WMVT, and seven additional digital television services. The MPTV stations are the area's only over-the-air source for PBS and other national public television programs, and also offer a diverse schedule of their own award-winning local series and specials. The stations are watched by over 644,300 viewers each week throughout southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. For more information, visit


Erin Eaton, Publicist/Grant Writer
P: (414) 297-8229

Julie Hill Lehr, Manager-Marketing and Community Engagement
P: (414) 297-7518