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LINCOLN'S LEGACY AND LEGEND - A SPECIAL PERFORMANCE EDITION OF BILL MOYERS JOURNAL ON PBS ON FRIDAY, APRIL 10th

LINCOLN'S LEGACY AND LEGEND - A SPECIAL PERFORMANCE EDITION OF BILL
MOYERS JOURNAL ON PBS ON FRIDAY, APRIL 10th
~ Good Friday Commemorates the Anniversary of Lincoln's Assassination ~


New York - April, 2009 - Every American child learns in school that
Lincoln was assassinated at Ford's Theater, but how many know that it
occurred on Good Friday? According to Harold Holzer, one of
America's leading Lincoln experts and co-chair of the national
Lincoln bicentennial underway, it was this remarkable religious
association that propelled Lincoln from man to martyr and a permanent
place in American mythology.

On Friday, April 10, BILL MOYERS JOURNAL brings television viewers a
deeply moving and intimate performance by award-winning actor Sam
Waterston. This special performance edition celebrates Lincoln's
profound legacy in his bicentennial year. Lincoln's Legacy and
Legend features acclaimed actor Sam Waterston and historian Harold
Holzer sharing poetry and prose by great American writers as
different as Frederick Douglas, Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsburg,
Langston Hughes, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and many others who have
struggled to find words that adequately describe this tall, plain and
gangling man and the transcendent significance of his presidency.

Lincoln's martyrdom on Good Friday catapulted him from president to
icon, from mortal man to enduring myth, and each American generation
has subsequently approached his towering legend through the prism of
its own perceptions. While writers over 150 years have compared him
to Washington, Jesus, and Moses, other more critical contrasting
voices have cast him as Hamlet, too slow to pick up the mantle of
Emancipator. Interpreting his political legacy for their own
contemporary purposes, Republicans and Democrats, blacks and whites
have shaped an evolving portrait of Lincoln that adds nuance and
dimension to the marble hero.

Well-known as the star of television's Law & Order, Sam Waterston has
inhabited the role of Lincoln on many stages and is a self-made
scholar of the 16th president. Harold Holzer, a prolific author on
the subject of Lincoln, is co-chairman of the U.S. Lincoln
Bicentennial Commission and recently edited The Lincoln Anthology:
Great Writers on His Life and Legacy from 1860 to Now which the
source for excerpts included in this performance, from first hand
observations by Lincoln's contemporaries to the words of Barack
Obama, the most recent American president to lay claim to Lincoln's legacy.



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