Lead: A minority President, politically opposed by members of his own party as well as Democrats, Abraham Lincoln was subjected to some of the most vicious personal attacks directed to any occupant of the White House.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The legend of Abraham Lincoln was very much a retrospective development. It was not until after his assassination, with the war over, that he began to take on in the mind of the nation, the status of a martyr and icon. Only at that point as people began to look back as they began to see that the survival of the Union was a dicey affair, by no means guaranteed, and that the single-minded determination and courage of this prairie lawyer had made the difference in the Republic's darkest days, only then did the reality of his greatness become apparent to a nation with so much to mourn but for which there was much to be thankful.

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