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In a time-honored tradition going back to 1978, President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tonight hosted the Ford’s Theatre pre-Gala reception at the White House.  For more than three decades, the reception has been considered the cornerstone of the Ford’s Theatre Annual Gala weekend.

“In 1978, President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter began the tradition of hosting a White House reception, and I am proud to continue the tradition in honor of such a historic and cherished landmark,” First Lady Melania Trump said.  “In addition to hosting the pre-Gala reception that year, Mrs. Carter co-chaired the Gala, and First Ladies have served as Honorary Chairs ever since. I am thrilled to be able to continue in that tradition.”

Guests of the reception included past Lincoln Medal recipients, members of Congress, and other distinguished guests.

After the reception, the President and First Lady attended a variety show hosted by Larry Gatlin at Ford’s Theatre.  Performers included Kevin McAllister, Johnnyswim, Nova Y. Payton, Angaleena Presley, David Selby, and fifteen-time Grammy Award winner Ricky Skaggs, who performed the songs “Say a Prayer” and “Change the World.”  This year’s Lincoln Medal recipients included prominent businessman and philanthropist Ronald Perelman, and two-time Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning.

About Ford’s Theatre

After being closed for more than 100 years after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, Ford’s Theatre reopened in 1968 with a special performance featuring stage and screen luminaries such as Henry Fonda, Helen Hayes, Andy Williams and Harry Belafonte.   Operated through a partnership between Ford’s Theatre Society and the National Park Service, Ford’s Theatre is the premier destination in the Nation’s capital to explore and celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s ideals and leadership principles: courage, integrity, tolerance, equality and creative expression.