Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lincoln Bicentennial Today on CNN

Today is Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday.

President Barack Obama, who invoked the "great emancipator" image during his campaign, also took the oath of office on Lincoln's Bible.

CNN's "From Lincoln to Obama," anchored by Soledad O'Brien, runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. Along with Newsroom anchors Don Lemon and Kyra Phillips, O’Brien and CNN will take a network-wide look at the bridge between the times of Presidents
Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama on the bicentennial celebration of Lincoln’s birth.

CNN will broadcast live from Lincoln bicentennial events in Washington, D.C., and Springfield, Ill., as the network builds upon the original and innovative coverage of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and the Obama inauguration. With live reports on the new administration, the economy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, CNN explores the state of affairs – both now and in the 1860s – that tie these two presidents together.

The day’s coverage includes live reports about Obama’s visit to Lincoln’s home in Springfield. Campbell Brown: No Bias. No Bull will air the president’s speech from that location at about 8:45 p.m. (ET). Anderson Cooper 360° will include analysis and reporting about Obama’s day in Springfield at 10 p.m. (ET)

From the Springfield announcements of their respective presidential campaigns to Obama using Lincoln’s inaugural ceremony bible at his own swearing-in ceremony, Lincoln and Obama face a number of extraordinary national challenges.

Additionally, Obama’s public admiration of Lincoln has inspired a renewed fascination with the 16th president. A Lincoln biography hit the best seller list after Obama was photographed with it as he carried it with him on the campaign trail. Fan clubs and Web sites are dedicated to Lincoln 200 years after his birth, stimulating a new pop culture captivation of his life and times and how they bridge across current affairs today.

Award-winning actor Sam Waterston will re-enact Lincoln’s famous speeches for CNN’s audience. Waterston has portrayed Lincoln on stage and screen and also serves on the Advisory Committee for the Lincoln Bicentennial.
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