Fun with Data Taming: Tweeting the Gettysburg Address

How do you demonstrate knowledge of your subject? By condensing it down to a few words without losing the essential meaning.

The writers of The Daily Show know their history — and their technology. They managed to condense Abraham Lincoln’s ~271 word Gettysburg Address down to 140 characters as part of a segment called “America’s Tweetheart“, that mocks the news media’s fascination with a former presidential candidate’s tweets.

Below is a screen shot of the mock tweet.

If Lincoln Tweeted the Gettysburg Address

For comparison, below is a reprint of Lincoln’s address.

Abraham Lincoln's The Gettysburg Address via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gettysburg_Address_(poster).jpg

Image Source: Wikimedia

How would you tweet the Gettysburg Address? Can you do better than The Daily Show writers?


Note 1: Time Magazine pondered this topic last year, in an article called, “What if Lincoln Had Used Twitter?” A web site called Historical Tweets also has some fun with what might have been, using historical figures’ speeches and writings.

Note 2: the thumbnail at the above left is a screen capture of the “Nicolay copy” of The Gettysburg Address via the Library of Congress.

Please let me know what you think....