LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The torch at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was lit Wednesday to honor the 60th anniversary of former President John F. Kennedy’s acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination.
Kennedy’s acceptance speech was delivered at the Coliseum on July 15, 1960.
The lighting of the torch was ordered by L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn, whose father, former Supervisor Kenny Hahn, led the pledge of allegiance at the 1960 Democratic National Convention which was held nearby at the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena in Exposition Park, where the Banc of California soccer stadium now stands.
Hahn is also the president of the Memorial Coliseum Commission.
The torch was lit at 8 a.m. and would remain lit until 4 p.m., Hahn said in a news release.
During the 1984 Olympic Summer Games, gold medalist and decathlon athlete Rafer Johnson was the relay runner who carried the handheld Olympic torch into the stadium to ceremoniously ignite the blaze. However, the flame can be started by flipping a series of switches and is lit during the fourth quarter of USC home football games as well as more momentous occasions, as when Los Angeles was awarded the 2028 Summer Olympics and to commemorate D- Day.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)