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The Fine: $100 — The Offense: Reciting the Gettysburg Address

By Doug Powers  •  February 23, 2011 01:52 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

“Four permits and seven illegal speech citations ago…”

From the Daily Caller:

On President’s Day — standing where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream Speech” — Phillip Howell, 25, recited Lincoln’s famous address and was quickly stopped by a Park Police officer. He told Howell that he could not give speeches on the steps of the memorial without a permit.

“He called me Abe, and then I turned around and he said, ‘Do you have a permit?’ I said ‘no’ and he said, ‘well you can’t do that here then,’” Howell told The Daily Caller. “Then I said, ‘I’m just giving the Gettysburg Address, come on, it’s President’s Day.’ And he said, ‘I don’t care what you’re giving, You’re not allowed to do that here. I don’t care what speech or what agenda you want to give.’”
They told the officer they didn’t know it was illegal and would be on their way. The officer refused, detained them at the base of the memorial, and wrote Howell and his friend holding the basket $100 in tickets.

To onlookers who didn’t know better and think rules & regs were the same in 1863 as they are today, maybe they thought it was part of the act and that Abe was actually asked for a permit and ticketed while delivering the Gettysburg Address.

Here’s video of the point where a Park Police officer cut in and asked for a permit for reciting what’s written on the memorial:

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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