The Lincoln Medal was presented to George Lucas during the rededication of Ford’s Theater on February 11. DC’s leading movers and shakers were on hand, most notably President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“Oh yes, I’m a big fan of Star Wars,” she said. “My five children, my husband, and I have seen the Star Wars movies over 100 times—we just couldn’t get enough of it.” Pelosi gushed about the director, who won the Lincoln Medal at the star-studded event attended by everyone from the Obamas to actors James Earl Jones and Sidney Poitier and even former cabinet pick Tom Daschle. “Every time George Lucas comes to Capitol Hill, it’s so thrilling,” Pelosi said. “He’s my constituent, you see, and he’s my friend.”
If a person didn’t know what party Lucas supports, reading this story would make it easy to guess which one it isn’t:
At the time of our visit in 1986, no members of the press had been admitted. Our tour guide for the drive related that Ronald Reagan, then President of the United States requested a tour of Skywalker Ranch but was denied. Lucasfilm lost a court battle to have the U.S. government refrain from calling the Strategic Defense Initiative, “Star Wars.” I suspect this ruling didn’t help President Reagan’s chances for a visit…
And although Lucas actually isn’t Pelosi’s constituent — Nancy Pelosi is the representative of California’s 8th Congressional District, while Skywalker Ranch is in the 6th — what savvy Bay Area politician would let a few squiggly lines on a map keep her from basking in the limelight of a local Democratic celebrity?
Interestingly, neither Lucas, nor even President Obama, drew a bigger round of “oohs” than did the presentation of this inanimate object:
After violinist Joshua Bell performed early in the program, it was revealed to the crowd that the instrument he used during “My Lord, What a Morning” was last played at Ford’s on April 14, 1865 — the night of Lincoln’s assassination. The violin was part of the orchestra that night, Ford’s officials said, and was donated in 1991 by the family of its original owner to the National Park Service, which has jurisdiction over the historic theater.
And perhaps that’s as it should be.
[Via TheForce.Net and David Klaus]