Statement from Our Director

We stand in solidarity with the Black Community. We support your calls of justice for George Floyd and all victims of racial violence and terror.

Read Statement

We invite you to explore Lincoln’s words with us and submit a video of yourself speaking them. This challenge runs June 8 – July 31, 2020.

In Lincoln’s words, we find comfort, inspiration and clarity of purpose, all of which we dearly need in this moment.

“We can succeed only by concert. It is not ‘can any of us imagine better?’ but, ‘can we all do better?’ … The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise -- with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew.” - Abraham Lincoln, Second Address to Congress, 1862

The Challenge: How to Participate

June 8 – July 31, 2020

  • Read one or more of Abraham Lincoln’s speeches. Our abridged versions are available for use in the Challenge.
  • Register to participate in one or more of our live webinars focusing on some of Lincoln’s most powerful speeches, led by our Master Oratory Fellows and our Master Teaching Artists.
  • Explore the Ford’s Oratory Approach resources, outlining some simple tactics for delivering speeches for maximum impact.
  • Film yourself speaking Lincoln’s words – We have provided abridged speeches that are the perfect length for this challenge. Your video should be no more than two minutes long.
  • Send Ford’s Theatre a video clip (two minute limit) of your performance by uploading it to YouTube and submitting the video link to Ford’s.
  • Participants are encouraged to share their videos on social media, tagging @Ford’s Theatre and using hashtags #LincolnsWords and #FordsOratory.
  • The last day to share a challenge video with us is July 31, 2020.

Submit Video

This program is open to the general public, it is recommended for ages 10 +. Participants under 10 are encouraged to watch with an adult to support their understanding of the content.

Learning From Lincoln’s Words

We believe it is vital for all to know Lincoln’s legacy and learn from his powerful words.

Help us expand this mission by supporting our free online education programs.