Read Lincoln’s speech, become part of world record

Local residents have been invited to participate in a worldwide attempt to rewrite the Guinness Book of World Records on the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s departure from Springfield to Washington, D.C., as the president-elect.

Participants around the world, joined together by live broadcasts, will read Lincoln’s famous departure speech in unison at 11 a.m. Friday. They will attempt to exceed 223,363 people reading from the same document simultaneously to break the previous world record.

The closest local readings will be at the Metamora Courthouse, 113 E. Partridge St., and on the east side of Old Main on the Knox College campus.

This is a unique opportunity for area residents who live in an area with an equally unique history, said Sarah Haynes of the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“There is so much Civil War history here,” she said. “We get a lot of groups coming in for tourism that are interested in the history of the Peoria area.”

Haynes hopes the event will bring at least a few hundred people out to the Metamora courthouse for a chance to learn about that history.

“Hearing words read aloud gives a sense of time and place that reading can never equal,” she said.

The event has been organized by The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and GateHouse Media Inc. in an attempt to break the world record set by Walden Media on Dec. 13, 2006.

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