Billy Graham’s Funeral on TV

By | 25 April 13
Billy_Graham_(1966)_by_Erling_Mandelmann

Billy Graham in 1966
Photo credit: Erling Mandelmann / photo©ErlingMandelmann.ch / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Many people — including me — remember Billy Graham’s funeral on TV.  My own memories placed Graham’s death close — within weeks, possible a month or two, at the very most — to the time when Ted Kennedy died.  I remember that the weather was warm in New England.

At the time, I didn’t think Billy Graham’s funeral was especially odd.  I didn’t watch much of the funeral and burial coverage, but I can remember flipping through TV channels, and seeing most networks carrying the event.  I remember thinking, at Ted Kennedy’s funeral, “Wow. We just had lots of shows pre-empted by Billy Graham’s funeral. I guess that kind of coverage has become standard.”

I clearly remember the funeral, and related TV coverage for several days.

Apparently, this “memory” is prevalent… perhaps more prevalent than the Nelson Mandela ones.  I’ve actually argued with a friend because she was 100% certain that Billy Graham had died.  She, too, remembered the funeral on TV.  It took Wikipedia to prove that we both had odd, completely identical memories… that never happened.  Not in this timestream, anyway.

Many readers have their own memories of Billy Graham’s death, funeral, and burial.  Mostly, they recall the TV coverage.

And — like me — most are entirely certain they aren’t mixing it up with Billy Graham’s wife’s funeral, which had some coverage on TV news shows.  (Ruth Graham died in 2007.  Ted Kennedy passed in 2009.  That’s not close enough for me to connect in my memories.)

Tamara Thorne said:

I don’t have any recollections about Mandela, but do have pretty clear memories of Billy Graham’s death.

Marna Ehrich said:

wait, wait, wait… Billy Graham is alive??? since when? I remember his death, but not his coming back …

Margaret’s comments included:

… I also remember Nelson Mandela’s funeral and the deaths of Billy Graham, Dom Deluise, Ernest Borgnine and Mickey Rooney. It’s all very interesting.

Johnathan said:

Billy Graham for a surety. I test it on my mother and asked her, “You remember Billy Graham dying right ?” To which she replied “Yeah he died from Alzheimer’s.” When I informed her  that he was still in fact alive she said, “Oh well then he was in hospital from it”.

Jeff said (in March 2012):

So Billy Graham didn’t die? I distinctly remember hearing about his death! I really can’t be sure about Mandella though I did think he was dead, I remember hearing about Ernest Borgnine dying, but he is still alive apparently!

[In a later comment] Thinking about it some more, I distinctly remember seeing Billy Graham’s funeral procession on TV!

Blob said:

Billy Graham is dead,yes? if not, please provide a link, i remember him passing about a year or two ago, as does my wife.

Teri said:

My mom and I both also “remember” Mandela dying in prison as well as Billy Graham dying soon after retiring.

c said:

i do believe i heard about billy graham’s death.

Kassia said:

Interesting on so many levels. I am in the same boat in regards to Mandela, Billy Graham, Australia!, 52 States (I am European),etc, etc.

Joe said:

I just last month had a discussion with a friend. I swore Billy Graham died and I watched his funeral on TV and so many people in tears and the sadness of such a great man being laid to rest and being honored by the Presidents and I even remember Bill Clinton speaking words in his honor…my friend said I was crazy. I asked my mother and she remembers us talking about his passing. I just don’t know what to think…

Elaine said:

I also thought Billy Graham was gone, for sure, seeming to recall something with his son speaking, etc.

Skye said:

Running across this string via FaceBook seems so odd to me, but here I am…
I remember Billy Graham dying & I was also jolted by the comment about Honduras. I have always thought it was an island also.

Kate’s comments included:

i also remember clearly the David Soule death—(i am shocked, up until I read this just now I still thought he was dead!) AND the Billy Graham death (Shocked)

Josh said:

Weird, I remember Billy Graham dying too….

L said:

When I first read this article, I thought you meant that some people remember Billy Graham as being still alive. After I understood, I was shocked and had to double and triple check before fully believing it. I can clearly remember the death of Billy Graham and watching an interview of his widow talking about events from his life, his evangelism, how the two met, ect, with my grandma and talking about what a shame it was that such a good man died. I asked her if she remembered any of it, and was shocked when she told me that the only thing she could remember was his wife dying a few years ago. I thought she must be mistaken until I googled it. In my timeline I can remember channel surfing and her being on television with her son no longer than a year ago. The only reason I remember is because the Grahams live close to where I was born/grew up and at the time I thought it was cool that a local family was on television.

Hoss’s comments included:

Some tv channel mistakenly reported that Billy Graham was dead:
http://www.mediabistro.com/tvspy/wbtv-mistakenly-reports-death-of-billy-graham_b31294

My reply:

That’s pretty wild about the TV station making a mistake like that. I mean, it’s not as if the staff would run with a major story without double-checking it, right…? And, they’re referencing CBS News, which is the central office all the CBS affiliates get their information from. So, that makes this doubly strange. It sounds like someone in the news chain had a Mandela moment, and maybe more of them did.

Kate said:

My friend, who I often talked about this kind of thing with years ago, pointed out to me tonight that Nelson Mandela and Billy Graham were born in the same year. Just some interesting serendipity. or is it? lol

Catherine said:

I remember a lot of these, Nelson Mandela and Billy Graham both dying in the 90′s.

My comment:

This means that there may be multiple timestreams represented here.  My Billy Graham “memory” was definitely related to Ted Kennedy’s death in 2009, and others have referenced other years for Billy Graham’s death.  So, if we’re “sliding” in and out of alternate timelines, we’re not all visiting the same one.

Interesting!

Chris provided some great details:

I am (or rather was until now!) certain that Billy Graham had died. I was only talking about him the other day in passing to my partner and we both agreed that he was a bit of a looney! I remember seeing parts of the funeral on TV and in the papers (UK Times if I remember rightly!!).
It was a big deal to the Evangelicals in the States and I definitely remember there were a lot of people mourning him – it felt more like the funeral of a monarch/state funeral.
There was a white sheet over his coffin with a gold eagle on it (or certainly some gold symbol) as it was carried by the bearers.

kat smith said:

Billy Grahams death puzzles me, I remember it occuring a few months before Ronald Reagans death.My mother and I sat at our little 13″ monitor in the kitchen….with flashes on the bottom screen about Billy Grahams death, in attendence was George senior to the left of Jr..Bill Clinton to the right in Blue covered chairs….the casket draped in a white cloth was paraded infront off the former presidents….as it was carried up the isle….I remember his son, widdow, and Bill Clinton speaking….it was held outdoors in NC……that day was very vivid, my mother remembers it as well..

Matt said:

This is a very intriguing topic. I’m among the people who don’t remember Mandela dying in prison, however I’ve encountered several people over the years who did remember his death and were just as surprised as you were. I do, however, remember the death and funeral of Billy Graham, not to mention countless other celebrities who turned out later to be very much alive. Those other celebrities could very well have been misreported deaths, as sometimes happens, but the thing with Graham is, like others commenting, I remember the funeral on TV. Maybe it was a funeral for someone else that I’m remembering, but I was just as shocked as anyone to learn he was still alive.

Those are the Billy Graham comments at this website, so far.  If you have memories about Billy Graham dying prior to 2013, I hope you’ll share your comments, below.

14 thoughts on “Billy Graham’s Funeral on TV

  1. Gurluas

    Indeed, I’ve heard people claim that both the Priest guy, and the Wrestler were dead, when neither were.

    Reply
  2. mellisa

    I remember The funeral, and I remembered my mom and my Aunt making fun of Tammy Faye Bakkers makeup. I remeber the blue background etc.

    Reply
  3. Joe

    I also remember very clearly when Billy Graham died, in fact I remember reading all the news articles on CNN and MSNBC about his death while I was at work. I also remember after work, seeing CBS News running stories about his death.

    I only learned recently on a thread on GLP that Billy Graham is alive, at first I say no way in heck is that possible because I saw the news, both in print and on TV. I looked it up Wikipedia and sure enough, he’s still alive.

    I don’t get how that even happens? Makes no sense.

    Reply
  4. Jonny A

    I wonder if this particular “phenomenon” can be attributed to some type of mass premonition? When indeed the inevitable does occur for Billy Graham, I for one, will be keeping a keen eye on the funeral proceedings (i.e. keeping a watchful eye on coffin and any drapings over it etc).

    Reply
  5. Kate

    These memories are very clear to me–it would be a completely different story if the characters were all different for us—but they are the same re-occurring people—which says to me that they are significant milestones in many time lines—I was told in my high school social studies class that Nelson Mandela had died—in prison—I remember seeing Billy Grahams funeral on TV—New Zealand was north of Australia—I was pretty dam sure of that my whole life until I read these threads…so interesting all of this.

    Reply
  6. Matt

    Just googled Billy Grahams death unsure if he was alive or not. I though he was! I knew his wife passed away yet was unsure about Billy because there is so much ‘mass promotion’. ‘Nearing Home’ and other resources prematurely reflect on ‘a great man who once lived’ as opposed to ‘a great man who lives’.

    Perhaps Men in Black have clicked their bright memory loss light. haha

    Reply
    1. Vivienne K.

      Interesting you should say that. Experiences with the men in black do involve things like memory loss and missing time. Maybe their job is to fix the timelines when they get messed up due to dimensional bleed-overs.

      Reply
  7. NowIamFreakedOut

    I remember seeing a brief image of Billy Graham’s funeral on TV. The coffin was covered in white and there was powdery blue and darker blue in the background. Billy Graham means little to me, this collection of shared memories seems so random. I feel like even when I caught a glimpse of the funeral on TV, I was surprised then that he had just died, and thought that he had already passed away.

    Reply
  8. Chaere

    I was working at the Grove Park Inn in 2013 for his birthday celebration. I was very confused because I remember very disticntly that he died in the early ’90s when I was a child. The only reason I recall this is because I share the same birthday he does, and kid-me was very sad that such a powerful man I was barely associated with had passed on.

    Reply
  9. DG

    I firmly remember the death of Billy Graham in early to mid (May, I think) 2000. Bill Clinton was still president and Al Gore was running in the primaries. Bill Clinton gave a long eulogy, and it very much was like a state funeral, much like others have described above. I had a roommate at the time who was an atheist and said that he thought Graham was “an a**hole” while my position was that he was a good man who did a lot of good things and that dissolved into an argument about speaking ill of the dead. It was kind of a heated argument (not too heated, we debated religion a lot back then), all the while CNN was playing in the background (and it was on the other channels too). It was a very hot year, and a very hot day when it happened. I think like a month later, the rolling blackouts began.

    These are very specific, very detailed memories, as clear to me as if they happened just last week.

    Reply
  10. Christine

    Now I’m REALLY confused. Are you foks saying Billy Graham is still alive in 2014?
    If so, then I remember him dying twice. The first time was perhaps early 2000′s when he succumbed to his terminal cancer. I don’t remember his funeral, but I remember his family spokespersons saying he had days/weeks to live with no hope of recovery. I passed the sad news to my husband. We are/were both Evangelical Christians and former Presbyterians, so this was news that definitely caught my attention. Then I became involved with personal crisies, so I didn’t hear followup news, but I had no reason to be lieve he was still alive, -until to my shock some years in the later 2000′s, I heard Billy had died ‘again’, but this time from Alzheimer’s (after a long lingering decline). First he died from terminal late stage cancer. Then he died again from Alzheimer’s. Is he dead or alive now? This reminds me of the 1960′s Whose Afraid of Virginia Wolfe, when the couple lived with an immaginary son – they were childless. They made up stories about ‘him’ as he grew and matured in life. One day during a fierce quarrel, the wife dealt the ultimate blow to her husband by telling him how their son had just been “killed”.
    I’m not convinced of alternate realities. I suspect quarreling groups of Powers That Be, who keep resurecting and killing off famous personalities to suit their own agenda. The other factions can’t reveal the death hoaxes because by doing so, they would be revealing their own lies.
    Oh I forgot to mention that NONE of these famous personalities actually exist – which is critical.
    I’m not sure if any of the famous persons we see on our TV and magazine covers actually exist or if they are merely photoshopped/cropped images/pixils on a screen.

    Reply
    1. Fiona Broome Post author

      Christine, those are some good observations and speculation. Thanks! And yes, check Wikipedia: As I’m writing this, Billy Graham is still alive.

      In real life, I’ve had more arguments with people over this one than any other point at this website. Most people seem to recall Billy Graham’s death. (Second place, at the moment: Berenstein v. Berenstain Bears.)

      Cheerfully, Fiona

      Reply
      1. DG

        As clearly as my memory’s of Billy Graham’s death are, I still remember them as the BerenSTAIN Bears.

        Reply
  11. Seth

    It would be an interesting exercise to try to isolate different timelines. Are people who remember BerenSTAIN Bears more likely to also remember Billy Graham’ s televised funeral? I for one have no recollection of Graham’ s death, but then again, I clearly remember BerenSTEIN bears. Can someone create a poll on survey monkey that will enable us to identify two or three different time streams?

    Reply

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