The Civil War. Episode 9, 1865--the better angels of our nature

United States, 1989

TV show
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Episode number 9 of Series “The Civil War”.
At Lee’s surrender, church bells peal throughout the North. The South is in ruin and despair. Unable to accept that the war is over, the actor John Wilkes Booth steals into a Washington theatre and puts a bullet into the brain of Abraham Lincoln. The nation’s grief knows no bounds; even Southerners are appalled, and the isolated fighting stutters to a halt. It is time to rebuild: “to listen”, as Lincoln implored four years before, “to the better angels of our nature”. The episode recounts the fates of the many players, great and small in the enormous drama which redefined the meaning of freedom in America.

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Ken Burns


Ric Burns

Ken Burns

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Florentine Films



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United States
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The Civil War

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The Civil War


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