WESTWOOD (CBS) — The 19th annual Abraham Lincoln Remembrance was held Saturday at the Los Angeles National Cemetery in Westwood, with former Mayor Richard Riordan reciting the Gettysburg Address.
Students from Birmingham and Lincoln high schools also participated in the program marking the 202nd anniversary of the birth of the 16th president. The remembrance included music Lincoln loved performed by The Backyard Band.
Actress Gigi Perreau, whose credits include the 1950s films, “Bonzo Goes to College” and “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit,” served as master of ceremonies.
The annual Lincoln remembrance began in 1993 by Duke Russell, a retired television lighting technician, who was disappointed there was no city celebration planned to mark Lincoln’s birthday and none of the major television stations would mark the occasion.
The first remembrance consisted of Russell delivering the Gettysburg Address in front of his daughter Colleen and Los Angeles Times columnist Jack Smith at an otherwise empty Hollywood Bowl.
The remembrance has been held at the Los Angeles National Cemetery since 1994. Actors Charlton Heston, Hal Holbrook, Mickey Rooney and Michael York, comedian Steve Allen and author Ray Bradbury have been among those reciting the Gettysburg Address.
Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Lincoln began his speech of slightly more than two minutes by recalling that the nation had been founded 87 years earlier… “Four score and seven years ago”, “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
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