Friday, February 12, 2021

This Day in TV History: NBC Salutes President Lincoln

50 years ago tonight, NBC celebrated the birthday of one of our most beloved exploring his horrible murder. At 8:00, the network led off the night with They've Killed President Lincoln! The hourlong production from David Wolper's company used dramatic recreations to explore the infamous assassination and questions of a broader conspiracy:

Cast included Richard Basehart as the narrator, Joseph Leisch Jr. as the prez, and Robert Leonard as John Wilkes Booth. Other notables: Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker, Robert Prosky, and Richard Sanders!

There is no truth to the rumor that CBS planned a similar special but axed it as part of the "Rural Purge" because Lincoln was too much of a hick, replacing it with specials about FDR, JFK, and Teddy Roosevelt.

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