In his final years, President Abraham “Theodore” Lincoln faced many challenges.
But in the early months of his presidency, his personal troubles got the better of him.
A war with Britain and France led to a deep recession that sent millions of people into poverty.
Lincoln spent most of the time at the White House, where he was ill, sick, and dying.
Then, on Feb. 13, 1865, he was shot by an assassin, Robert E. Lee, on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
That night, thousands of people watched as Abraham Lincoln died.
His final moments came as he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
It was the most controversial and widely viewed documentary of all time.
As the years passed, it became known as one of the most important and powerful political documentaries ever made.
In fact, the documentary had an estimated sales value of more than $5 billion.
The Assassination was released on DVD and Blu-ray on Aug. 21, 2020.
And as of Friday, the film has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.
To mark the centennial of the assassination, NPR spoke to scholars, historians, and film buffs to discuss the film’s importance and impact.
Samuel Little Samuel Little, an award-winning journalist who wrote the book Lincoln: The Last President, was one of those film buffs who grew up with the film.
He called it “one of the great films of all times.”
Little said that, in addition to being an award winner, Lincoln is also a favorite among historians and film lovers.
“It’s such a powerful, powerful story that you can watch it again and again,” he said.
“I’m not sure what else you can say about it, other than you love it.”
Little also said that the film is a powerful tool for understanding the early years of the U.S. Civil War.
“There’s a lot that was happening before Lincoln became president, so we’ve got to understand that period,” he added.
“We’ve got Lincoln to understand the war, and we’ve also got Lincoln trying to do what he thought was right.
He wanted to do something that was good for the country, and that’s what we’ve been trying to tell the story of.”
Samuel Little Samuel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, said that Lincoln was always willing to confront the challenges that faced him.
“He always knew what he had to do, and what was good to do,” Samuel said.
“[He] had to be able to deal with the realities of the world, and he did a great job of doing that.”
The Assassina Lincoln was a groundbreaking film.
It shows the first president of the United States facing an armed rebellion against the United Kingdom.
It tells of the horrors of the Civil War, and the battles and defeats that the president and his men fought to preserve the Union.
It also tells of a struggle between the federal government and states over slavery.
It’s a dramatic portrait of the life of the American Civil War and the life and times of Abraham Lincoln.
Samuel said that many people who loved the film had to have seen it to appreciate it.
“In a lot of ways, it was an antidote to everything that the world has been saying about the Civil Wars and the war,” he explained.
“What’s great about it is that people who didn’t like it, or just don’t think it’s accurate or good or accurate, can actually see that it was a story that was really about Lincoln and the Civil war, about Lincoln’s vision of America.”
For Samuel, the assassination of Lincoln was the turning point for the Civil Rights movement in America.
Samuel explained that it “showed that a man of his stature could get shot in the back and die before his time.”
“It showed that you could be shot at and not die.
That’s what people remember from that day.
It wasn’t a simple story.
It had some really dark twists,” Samuel added.
Samuel recalled how the film changed how Americans view the Civil Era.
“A lot of people who were in that audience in the 50s and 60s would have never heard of it because it was so recent.
It gave people a chance to really understand that era, and it gave them a chance at reconciliation,” he noted.
Samuel also said the film made a lot about Lincoln himself.
“When he talks about the fact that he was trying to save the Union, that he loved the Union and that he believed in the Union—he was a very principled man, very humble, very kind, and very principled,” Samuel noted.
“The way he told that story in the film was so powerful, and so important, that people, even if they didn’t know him, had to hear it, because it had a powerful impact.”
Samuel said the assassination changed American politics forever.
“For many people, it gave a new understanding of what the Civil-War was really all about.