Lennon Memorial Goes Past Curfew

New York police broke up annual vigil early Thursday morning.

About 300 John Lennon fans sang his songs in an annual vigil in

New York's Central Park that began Wednesday night (Dec. 8) — the

19th anniversary of the Beatles singer/guitarist's death —

and lasted until 1:40 a.m. Thursday, according to the co-founder of a

fan group and a spokesperson for the New York City Parks and Recreation

Department. That was 40 minutes past a curfew police have imposed on the

gathering since 1994. Tom Leighton, co-founder of the Memorial Committee,

said police shut down the vigil without incident. The memorial committee

protested the curfew with a demonstration Nov. 20 outside Gracie Mansion,

the official residence of New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Fans congregated

in Strawberry Fields, a section of the park named for the Beatles song

"Strawberry Fields Forever." Lennon was murdered Dec. 8, 1980, by Mark

David Chapman, an obsessed fan. Before 1994, fans stayed in Strawberry

Fields all night on the anniversary of Lennon's death.