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Plot & Details

This is the first part of a three-video, six-hour program that originally aired February 19-21, 2001, as part of the acclaimed PBS series The American Experience. The program focuses on the marriage of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln, and is one of the first documentaries to do so. This documentary postulates that Mary was indeed a key to Lincoln's success. The first part deals with Abraham's and Mary's early years and with their vastly different backgrounds. Lincoln was born to poverty and had less than a year of formal schooling, while Mary Todd grew up in luxury and got more schooling than most girls in that time. Narrated by David McCullough, the program also features interviews with scholars and readings by actors David Morse and Holly Hunter. Highlights include period photographs.

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