Sorry, Abe, You Need a Permit

... to give the Gettysburg Address
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2011 10:00 AM CST

One man looking to celebrate Presidents Day found that the land of the free isn't always so, the Daily Caller reports. Phillip Howell is a 25-year-old, 6-foot-4-inch tall American who, with a beard and top hat, bears a striking resemblance to a certain former president. He tried giving the Gettysburg Address from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, only to get booted by park police who informed him he needed a permit.

He moved to the bottom of the stairs, but then made the mistake of taking a friend's suggestion and collecting donations—resulting in $100 in fines, as that made him an unlicensed street performer. “It’s not meant to be restrictive,” says a Park Police spokesman of the policy. “Whatever your message is, if it’s there, it’s a restricted area and we’re going to let you know and ask you to move down to the bottom of the stairs. Then you can yell away. Have at it.” (More National Park Service stories.)

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