“Abraham Lincoln’s Impact on Modern Embalming” is a Before I Die New Mexico Festival session that covers the history of modern embalming. The practice took off in the United States during the Civil War. You’ll learn how the huge number of deaths during the war, President Lincoln’s assassination, and the funeral procession that took his body across the country influenced death care in America for the following century. The history of embalming is presented by Joshua McManigal with the Park Lawn Corporation.

In this video, we also virtually visit Lincoln’s Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. Speakers Lashonda Fitch and Justin Blandford provide insights about the monument to Lincoln in the cemetery and how the monument highlights lessons from history.

Video: Abraham Lincoln, Embalming and Monuments

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Session Speakers

Joshua McManigal, Director of Operations, Park Lawn Corporation. Josh attended Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Services in 2005 and worked in Houston before joining the Daniels family in 2018. He is the Director of Operations for all locations in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho. He is currently the President of the New Mexico Funeral Service Association.

Lashonda Fitch is the Executive Director of Oak Ridge Cemetery, established in 1856 in Springfield, Illinois. She manages the second most-visited cemetery in the U.S., after Arlington National Cemetery.

Justin Blandford is the Superintendent of Historic Sites for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. He shares the history behind Lincoln’s Tomb, a National Historic Landmark within Oak Ridge Cemetery.

Festival Sponsors

2021 Festival Sponsors

Thank you to these companies and organizations that made the Before I Die NM Festival possible.

A portion of the sponsorship proceeds and ticket sales from the Before I Die NM Festival were donated to 501(c)(3) charitable partner, Historic Fairview Cemetery, established in Albuquerque in 1881. The cemetery is the final resting place of 12,000 individuals, with remarkable stories reflecting the history of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the United States of America. The website is www.HistoricFairviewCemeteryABQ.org.