Day: February 11, 2021

Lincoln: saved by a non-evil stepmother

We’ve heard plenty about evil stepmothers, so let’s hear the flip side – the good stepmother who helped shape the man who preserved the Union.
That’s one of the stories in “Lincoln: Divided We Stand,” which is part of an excellent documentary duo Sundays on CNN, starting Feb. 14: “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy” is 9 p.m. and midnightET, offering a warm survey of food and people; the Lincoln story is at 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. ET.
Abe Lincoln (shown here) had a hard-scrabble childhood in Kentucky and then Indiana, hitting bottom when he was 9. His mother died and his father decided he couldn’t raise the kids alone. Leaving Abe and his sister in their cold cabin, he rode back to Kentucky and asked a family friend to marry him.
Sarah Bush Johnson – whose husband, a jailer, had died – said yes. She arrived with three children, some cookware … and a collection of books, which Lincoln promptly gravitated to. Read more…

Best-bets for Feb. 13: wild year, romantic weekend

1) “A Wild Year on Earth,” 8 p.m., BBC America. In July and August, Greenland’s icebergs crumble, the great migrations begin and brown bears await their salmon feast. There are nasty creatures, from sidewinder snakes in the desert to mosquitoes on a rhino’s back – soon swooped up by birds. This series (shown here in a previous episode) has stunning footage; tonight, it ranges from nomadic Mongolians on horseback to a sly fox on an Alaskan island. He leaps out of hiding to snatch birds that were flying low to avoid sea gulls. Read more…