Eye On Boise

Of Ken Burns, Linden Bateman, Idaho and the Gettysburg Address...

Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa prepares to recite the Gettysburg Address, as part of a project tied to a Ken Burns documentary entitled
Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa prepares to recite the Gettysburg Address, as part of a project tied to a Ken Burns documentary entitled "The Address;" at right is Kris Freeland, station manager of Idaho Public TV's KUID station in Moscow. (Betsy Russell)

As part of a Ken Burns documentary, hundreds of people around the nation are reciting the Gettysburg Address – including dozens in the Idaho state Capitol today. A crew from Idaho Public TV set up in a Statehouse meeting room, and among those reciting the address for the camera were numerous lawmakers, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, shown here; Gov. Butch Otter, state Controller Brandon Woolf, Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill; Parker Davis, the young grandson of Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis; Idaho Education Association President Penni Cyr, several foreign exchange students, and lots of others. Students in classrooms around the state also have participated in the project.

Kris Freeland, shown at right, KUID station manager in Moscow, is coordinating the project locally. “It’s my goal to get as many people from Idaho as possible,” she said. Burns’ documentary, “The Address,” will air on Idaho Public TV on April 15; he’s launched a nationwide challenge to get people to learn more about and recite President Abraham Lincoln’s famous speech.

Among today’s notable recitations: Rep. Linden Bateman, R-Idaho Falls, took a spill on the stairs near the 3rd floor rotunda earlier today and hit his head, prompting paramedics to be called. After being checked out by the paramedics, Bateman promptly headed to the taping, with a prominent goose-egg on his forehead, and recited the full Gettysburg Address from memory. “He’s fine,” said House Majority Caucus Chairman John Vander Woude, R-Nampa. “Later on, I saw him grabbing his stuff and heading to a committee meeting.”




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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