Abraham Lincoln's face stepped off the penny and into full color for
students at Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School on Friday.
Wearing a bow tie, top hat and sporting a real beard, impersonator
John Kendall presented a history lesson dressed as the nation's 16th
"I knew if I didn't grow a real beard, it would be the one thing
they would remember is a phony one," Kendall said.
More than 300 children attended the school's first Lincoln
Assembly, during which Kendall spouted out facts about Lincoln.
"I learned about his childhood and he gave a speech I never heard
before," third-grader Sydney Deeter said.
Celebrated annually on the third Monday in February, the
Presidents Day holiday honors the birthdays of Lincoln and George
Washington, the nation's first president.
Kendall visited with kindergartners before moving into the
auditorium to make a presentation for those in first through fifth
"He died, I'm scared, how is he coming back?" wondered Caitlin
After Kendall was introduced, Caitlin and the rest of her
kindergarten classmates were eager to share all they knew about their
"It's always nice to have someone come in person and engage the
students," said Bri Miller, a kindergarten teacher.
Later, Kendall took the stage in the auditorium and told students
about Lincoln's life and then recited the Gettysburg Address speech
Lincoln delivered in 1863.
Elected president in 1860, Lincoln wrote and issued the
Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves three years later.
"With Presidents Day and this being Black History Month, I
couldn't think of a person better to celebrate," said Lori Deeter,