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Another special program to honor the memory of Abraham Lincoln is coming to the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). Bill Moyers Journal is going to air “Lincoln’s Legend and Legacy,” a special performance edition of the series, featuring the actor Sam Waterston and the nation’s foremost Lincoln scholar, Harold Holzer.

The show will feature Waterston providing dramatic readings of prose and poetry written about Lincoln and his legacy by some of the greatest American writers, from Herman Melville to Allen Ginsburg to Frederick Douglass and Langston Hughes. Holzer will provide the context of the various excerpts which Waterston presents. The link I provided in the first paragraph contains some video previews of the show. Be sure to check out Waterston’s reading from Melville’s words about Lincoln’s death. Waterston has portrayed Lincoln in both film and on stage. For those of you who have never heard his recital of the Gettysburg Address, click this link from CNN video. It’s very moving.

This edition of Bill Moyers Journal is set to air on April 10, 2009 (9:00 p.m.) which happens to be Good Friday. Of course it was also a Good Friday the day that Lincoln was assassinated. As always with PBS, be sure to check your local listings as the show may be preempted for a local program.

For a behind-the-scenes story about the taping of this program, click here. It’s an interesting story from an historian from the Lehigh Valley (Pennsylvania) Heritage Museum who was lucky enough to be in the audience. I wish I could’ve been!

I’m looking forward very much to watching this program. Waterston is one of our finest actors, and I truly enjoy Harold Holzer’s presentations on Lincoln. Let’s hope this PBS Lincoln special is better than the mediocre “The Assassination Of Abraham Lincoln” and the dreadful “Looking For Lincoln” which were both shown by PBS in February.

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