, a special airing on the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. Premiering Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET., the program describes a major turning point in American history: the rebirth of a nation and the dawn of the information age.
In 1863, Abraham Lincoln proved himself a master of a new frontier with his “high-tech” command center — the War Department Telegraph Office, America’s first “Situation Room.” The telegraph, the internet of the 19th century, gave Lincoln the power to re-invent leadership and wield control across distant battlefields and have his finger on the pulse of the nation. This flow of communication led to some of the most dramatic moments of the Civil War, and shaped the words that Lincoln would use to reunite a shattered country at Gettysburg.
Narrated by David Stratharin (Lincoln, The Bourne Legacy, Good Night, and Good Luck) LINCOLN@GETTYSBURG reveals how Lincoln’s interest in new technologies gave him control never before exercised by any commander-in-chief. “Abraham Lincoln recognized that he who controls the conduit also controls the content,” said Tom Wheeler, author of Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails. Lincoln used these innovations to connect himself to the country – receiving dispatches by telegraph from his generals in the field – and, in turn, transmitting his words and strategic plans for the nation with more clarity and efficiency than ever before. Throughout the documentary audiences hear a range of views from historians, political scientists and Civil War and military experts; including screenwriter for the award-winning motion picture Lincoln, Tony Kushner; former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Colin Powell; historian and author Eric Foner; author Jeff Shaara; political scientist and TV commentator Melissa Harris-Perry and more.
“Abraham Lincoln is held in high esteem as an American president for so many significant acts of leadership, including the transformative power of his Gettysburg address,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming, PBS. “Many viewers may not be aware of Lincoln’s pioneering use of technology to lead the country. It’s only fitting on the 150th anniversary of this historic speech that we bring this story to light.” (Source:
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