The cast of "Killing Lincoln," the National Geographic Channel's new docudrama about the events leading up to and after John Booth's assassination of President Lincoln gathered some of the tragic president's most ardent fans for a Monday night Washington D.C. premiere.
The new film stars Billy Campbell as the former president in the channel's first-ever, full-length docu-drama.
Speaking to the press Campbell called Lincoln 'arguably our greatest president'.
The cast of the show recreated what promoters called the 'last steps of Lincoln' with visits to Ford's Theatre and Lincoln's Cottage, concluding with lunch at the Lincoln Restaurant.
Jesse Johnson, who played Booth in the new show, didn't make the premiere because of travel delays, and narrator Tom Hanks and "Killing Lincoln" author Bill O'Reilly were also no-shows. But Irish actress Geraldine Hughes who plays Mary Todd Lincoln walked the red carpet with a sign that read: 'I have lost my voice.'
Retiring Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood took the opportunity to reflect on the other big Lincoln movie of the year - Steven Spielberg's Oscar-nominated film - and argued that modern politicians should 'take a lesson from movies like Lincoln.'
'That movie is about how hard it is to get things done; it was hard back then and it's hard now,' LaHood said. "I think the other thing I admire about Lincoln is surrounding himself, the way that President Obama did, with some people who at one time were his adversaries. I'm an example. I was never an adversary, but I'm a Republican.'
Asked how he ranked the 16th president compared to the current one, LaHood offered a long pause.
'You guys know I love Obama,' he finally said with a grin. 'I love Lincoln, too. I love both of them.'
"Killing Lincoln" premieres Sunday at 8PM on the National Geographic Channel.