"Being here with tonight's honorees, reflecting on their contributions, I'm reminded of a Supreme Court opinion by the great Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. In a case argued before the Court in 1926, the majority ruled that the state of New York couldn't regulate the price of theater tickets, because, in the opinion of the majority, the theater was not a public necessity. They argued, in effect, that the experience of attending the theater was superfluous. And this is what Justice Holmes had to say: 'To many people the superfluous is necessary.' The theater is necessary. Dance is necessary. Song is necessary. The arts are necessary -- they are a necessary part of our lives."
-President Barack Obama, saluting this year's Kennedy Center Honorees.
December 10: Agnes Nixon (b. 1927)
December 12: John Osborne (1929-1994) and Bill Nighy (b. 1949)