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Sixty-two years ago it was the father, evangelist Billy Graham, who captivated Los Angeles with an old-fashioned tent revival that launched his career as America’s most influential preacher.

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Today it is his son, Franklin Graham, who hopes to use Southern California as a launch pad for a national religious revival — this one aimed at Latinos, who represent fertile soil for Christian evangelists.

Graham’s Festival de Esperanza, or Festival of Hope, kicks off Saturday evening at the Home Depot Center in Carson, somewhat spiffier grounds than those available to the elder Graham, who in 1949 pitched his revival in a tent on Washington Boulevard and Hill Street. That meeting, held in the hope-filled years after World War II, helped establish Billy Graham as a national figure. The younger Graham, however, is a very different figure and is not entirely comfortable comparing his crusade, the first he has done in the Los Angeles area, to that of his father.

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