The story: The words of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address are carved onto the walls of the Washington D.C. memorial bearing his name and likeness. But if you're visiting, don't give in to the urge to read those words aloud — especially if you are dressed as Honest Abe himself. That's what Philip Howell, 25, did on Presidents' Day, dressed in Lincoln's trademark top hat and suit, before being stopped by a park ranger for failing to hold the necessary permit and fined $50 for attempting to solicit donations for his performance. "It does seem a little ironic that the 'Land of the Free' cannot be so free at times," Howell said.
The reaction: I can understand the government wanting groups to apply for a permit, says Chris Bounds at Liberty Juice, "but one person is hardly a group." Howell was basically reprimanded for speaking aloud. "Has that been deemed inappropriate by Park Police? Apparently so." If Lincoln was alive today, how might his address go? wonders Doug Powers at MichelleMalkin.com. "Four permits and seven illegal speech citations ago..." Watch a video of Howell getting nailed by the Park Police:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- How U2 became the new Nickelback
- Save the world... by changing how you pee
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- How to be the star of a cocktail party where you don't know anyone
Subscribe to the Week