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Bush, Reagan: A Chorus of Praise

--President Bush and his predecessor, Ronald Reagan, sent videotaped greetings as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir celebrated the 60th anniversary of its live program, “Music and the Spoken Word,” American radio’s longest-running show. “For six decades the choir has been heard around the world opening hearts,” Bush said in his message, played during the commemorative 3,126th broadcast by the 325-voice choir. “No one sings the anthems of America like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir,” Reagan said in his tape. The choir performed at the inaugurations of both presidents. “Always its purpose has been the same--to give voice to the gospel of peace and human brotherhood,” said Gordon B. Hinckley, a counselor to Mormon Church President Ezra Taft Benson. The choir was formed in 1847, less than a year after Mormon pioneers led by Brigham Young settled in the Salt Lake Valley. CBS Radio Network President Nancy Whitman said the broadcasts, which are carried by about 400 domestic stations, plus others overseas, have reflected many historical events of the 20th Century. She cited a special 1934 performance for explorer Adm. Richard E. Byrd at the South Pole and a show dedicated to Americans in Hawaii shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

--Monaco’s Prince Rainier is quoted in a new book as saying that his memories of Princess Grace are so strong that he could never remarry. Actress Grace Kelly became Rainier’s princess in 1956, and she died in a car accident in 1982. “I see Grace wherever I go,” Rainier, 66, said. “Anyway, I couldn’t do it because it would be very difficult for my children. So I won’t.” Also in the book, “Rainier and Grace,” by Jeffrey Robinson, the prince discounted rumors of a romance with German-born Princess Ira von Furstenberg. “We’ve known each other a long time. She’s good company and she’s amusing, but that’s all. There’s never been any question of marriage,” Rainier said. He also says that he would like to retire and pass power to his son, Prince Albert, 31, but that he wouldn’t do so until Albert was confident enough and that the transfer “will also have to do with when Albert gets married.”

--Interrupting his vacation in the Alpine foothills, Pope John Paul II flew by helicopter to a nearby shrine to the Virgin Mary in Oropa, Italy, and asked religious pilgrims to help with missionary work. The Shrine of the Black Madonna is built around a black wooden statue of Mary said to have been carved by St. Luke and brought to the site in the year 361. The Pope said Mass before about 15,000 Roman Catholics.


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