Sorry, Abe, You Need a Permit
... to give the Gettysburg Address
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2011 10:00 AM CST

(Newser) – 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.”