During these dark periods, America's greatest leaders came forth to literally save a nation. This riveting program deals with three of the most daunting periods in our history: the American Revolution, the Civil War and the Great Depression and WWII, and three extraordinary U.S. Presidents that met these challenges with manifest courage, unswerving determination and calm vision. When the Revolutionary War began, George Washington, a battle-tested general, was elected Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. After six long bloody years of battle, America won her independence from Britain, and Washington was unanimously chosen to lead the new nation. On April 30, 1789, he took the oath of office of the first President of the United States. Abraham Lincoln, as 16th President of the United States, was ill prepared for the trauma of a Civil War. Nevertheless, through fierce will, thoughtful vision, oratorical skills and courage he became an extraordinary leader. For all his deeds and efforts in freeing the slaves and preserving the Union, Abraham Lincoln became the heroic martyr of the Civil War. Elected four times as President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, though crippled with polio, led a desperate nation through the dark days of the Great Depression and World War II with a steady hand and eternal optimism; lifting the spirits of millions of Americans, forever leaving a profound mark on the 20th century.