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C-SPAN, the "Network of the Lincoln Bicentennial,” and the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Announce Kick-Off Celebration of the Life of Abraham Lincoln

C-SPAN’s Live Coverage of Inaugural Ceremony from Lincoln's Birthplace Part of Network’s Upcoming Programming: “LINCOLN: 200 YEARS” 

Washington, DC -- C-SPAN, the Network of the Lincoln Bicentennial, and the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission announce the kick-off celebration of the life of our nation’s 16th president from the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site in Hodgenville, KY.  C-SPAN will be there LIVE to cover the ceremony, Tuesday, February 12th at 10:30 AM ET, which will air on C-SPAN3, and through streaming video at www.c-span.org.  The network will also feature its Washington Journal program LIVE that morning from the site at Hodgenville, KY, with coverage beginning at 7:00 AM ET on C-SPAN.

The event, which is part of C-SPAN’s upcoming series of programming specials entitled: “LINCOLN: 200 YEARS,” is the inaugural ceremony of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration, a two-year long celebration of the life and legacy of one of the nation’s most revered political figures, and sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.  Featured speakers at the event include First Lady Laura Bush, and a reading of the Gettysburg Address by actor Sam Waterston.

In addition to covering the inaugural ceremony, C-SPAN will devote coverage to other major events scheduled during the two-year long celebration, and will dedicate the first Saturday of each month to Lincoln-related original programming starting April 5th at 8:00 PM ET, with a re-air time scheduled for 11:00 PM.

“C-SPAN is very excited to be part of this special bicentennial celebration,” said Mark Farkas, executive producer for the network’s history programming.  “As the network of the bicentennial, our cameras will take the viewers on a journey through history, to sites of historical significance in both Lincoln’s life, and the life of our country, to show the public a personal side of this noted American figure, and the places that helped define him.” 

Commented Harold Holzer, co-chairman of the ALBC: “Abraham Lincoln once declared that ‘public sentiment is everything’—and that the surest way to reach the broadest public is through communications.  Thanks to C-SPAN, America’s window onto history and current events, we now have the opportunity to communicate about Lincoln to millions of heirs to his life’s work.  We can refresh national memory during the Lincoln bicentennial, and make sure that Lincoln’s great words and enduring example live on in ‘public sentiment.’  We look forward to working with C-SPAN over the next two years to help guarantee Abraham Lincoln’s living presence in American life.”

About C-SPAN’s “LINCOLN: 200 YEARS” Programming

Following in Lincoln’s footsteps, C-SPAN cameras will take viewers to the places that defined the man, his presidency, and his legacy.  These glimpses of the private and public Lincoln, oftentimes shot in high-definition, will feature, among other programs:

· A look at the Lincoln Memorial and an exploration of its symbolic hold on the national imagination.
· A visit to Lincoln’s summertime “cottage,’’ where he worked on his draft of the Emancipation Proclamation.
· A return to “Lincoln’s Springfield’’ – the Illinois city where he practiced law, raised a family, gave his ``House Divided’’ speech, and came home to lie-in-state.

C-SPAN will also provide LIVE coverage of a number of official events sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, including:

· The 145th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address on Nov. 9, 2008
· A joint meeting of Congress in Statuary Hall on Feb. 12, 2009
· The re-dedication of the Lincoln Memorial on April 12, 2009

Lincoln Web sites

As part of the bicentennial, both C-SPAN and ALBC have created Web sites (www.c-span.org/lincoln200years and www.abrahamlincoln200.org) dedicated to Lincoln events associated with the two-year long celebration. 

The C-SPAN Web site, which contains the largest video archive of Lincoln programs on the internet, as well as rare photos, event updates, and selected speeches, will serve as a library resource to teachers, students, journalists, and the public seeking to learn more about the life and impact of the nation’s 16th president.

The ALBC Web site serves as clearinghouse for information about bicentennial programs around the country, as well as a resource for photos, books, and biographical information about the 16th president. 

About C-SPAN
C-SPAN, the political network of record, was created in 1979 by America's cable companies as a public service.  C-SPAN is currently available in 90 million households, C-SPAN2 in 82 million households, and C-SPAN3 in more than 13 million households nationwide.  For more information about C-SPAN, visit www.c-span.org.

About Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission

Congress established the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission to plan educational, public, and legacy programs to mark the 16th president’s 200th birthday in 2009.  Its members, who are appointed by the president and congressional leaders, include political leaders, jurists, historians, and collectors.  The ALBC aims to renew Americans’ appreciation of Lincoln’s ideals of freedom, democracy and equality of opportunity. 


Additional Contact:
John Cardarelli (C-SPAN)