Josefina "Joey" Guerrero (third from right) received the Medal of Honor With Silver Palm for her actions during World War II, which were “instrumental in saving the lives of many Americans and Filipinos,” according to the award citation.

This Filipina Spy Used Her Leprosy as a Cover to Thwart the Japanese During World War II

Enemy soldiers overlooked Josefina "Joey" Guerrero due to her condition. Later, her heroic actions on behalf of the Allies were largely forgotten

Charles Robert Jenkins, pictured here in 2004, hoped to surrender to North Korea, then seek aslyum at the Soviet Embassy and eventually make his way back to the United States via a prisoner swap.

The American Soldier Whose Fear of Fighting in Vietnam Led Him to Defect to North Korea. He Stayed There for 40 Years

During his time in the repressive country, Charles Robert Jenkins married a Japanese abductee, taught English at a school and appeared in propaganda films

Adopting the last name of his former enslaver, Harry spent the rest of his life pursuing the ideal for which the name Washington has long been revered in American history: fighting for freedom.

Enslaved by George Washington, This Man Escaped to Freedom—and Joined the British Army

Harry Washington fought for his enslaver's enemy during the American Revolution. Later, he migrated to Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone

In 1860, Lieutenant John M. Brooke wrote, “I am satisfied that [Manjiro] has had more to do with the opening of Japan than any other man living.” 

The Shipwrecked Teenager Who Helped End Japan's Isolationist Era

Rescued by an American sea captain, Manjiro spent time abroad before returning home, where he was valued for his expertise but never fully trusted

President John F. Kennedy meets with William Fitzjohn, Sierra Leone's charge d’affairs in Washington, in the Oval Office on April 27, 1961.

The African Diplomats Who Protested Segregation in the U.S.

Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy publicly apologized after restaurants refused to serve Black representatives of newly independent nations

“I was the daughter of an enormously popular president and the first girl in the White House since Nellie Grant, and I looked upon the world as my oyster,” Alice recalled in her 1933 autobiography.

From a White House Wedding to a Pet Snake, Alice Roosevelt's Escapades Captivated America

Theodore Roosevelt's eldest daughter won the public's adoration with her rebellious antics

An inmate firefighter monitors flames as a house burns in the Napa wine region of California on October 9, 2017.

The History of California's Inmate Firefighter Program

The initiative, which finds prisoners working as first responders and rescuers, dates back to the 1940s

NATO troops from a battalion based in Fort Hood, Texas, train in Germany in September 1983, two months before the Able Archer 83 drill.

The 1983 Military Drill That Nearly Sparked Nuclear War With the Soviets

Fearful that the Able Archer 83 exercise was a cover for a NATO nuclear strike, the U.S.S.R. readied its own weapons for launch

From L to R: Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson and Isaac McGhie

One Hundred Years Ago, a Lynch Mob Killed Three Men in Minnesota

The murders in Duluth offered yet another example that the North was no exception when it came to anti-black violence

The Moore home after the bomb explosion

The Unsolved Murder of Civil Rights Activist Harry Moore

An organizer who campaigned for justice in 1940s Florida, Moore was among the first martyrs to the cause

The Wilhelm Gustloff before its first departure in 1938 and after its test in the Hamburg harbor

The Deadliest Disaster at Sea Killed Thousands, Yet Its Story Is Little-Known. Why?

In the final months of World War II, 75 years ago, German citizens and soldiers fleeing the Soviet army died when the "Wilhelm Gustloff" sank

Map of Cedar Key, Florida, 1884

Florida Man Terrorizes Town, Forcing Federal Government to Step In

As mayor of Cedar Key, Billy Cottrell reigned as a tyrant until U.S. forces chased him away

Family photo of Elsye Mitchell

In 1945, a Japanese Balloon Bomb Killed Six Americans, Five of Them Children, in Oregon

The military kept the true story of their deaths, the only civilians to die at enemy hands on the U.S. mainland, under wraps

'Hanging of the San Patricios following the Battle of Chapultepec' by Samuel E. Chamberlain depicts a multiple execution in the aftermath of one of the battles of the Mexican-American War.

During the Mexican-American War, Irish-Americans Fought for Mexico in the 'Saint Patrick's Battalion'

Anti-Catholic sentiment in the States gave men like John Riley little reason to continue to pay allegiance to the stars and stripes

Gibbs aboard the USS Bear, which made the voyage to Antarctica

George Washington Gibbs Jr. Defied Danger and Racism to Become the First African-American to Visit Antarctica

"He had bigger visions and would not be contained in a box," his daughter says

Grand Canyon National Park

The Decades-Long Political Fight to Save the Grand Canyon

Americans had long known about the wonders of the southwestern landmark, but it wouldn't be until 1919 that it would gain full federal protection

Mothers and babies gather for a "Better Baby Contest" in Minnesota in 1920.

'Better Babies' Contests Pushed for Much-Needed Infant Health but Also Played Into the Eugenics Movement

Contests around the country judged infants like they would livestock as a motivator for parents to take better care of their children

Thomas Jennings, accused of murdering Clarence D. Hiller, Chicago, Illinois, 1910.

The First Criminal Trial That Used Fingerprints as Evidence

Thomas Jennings used a freshly painted railing to flee a murder scene but unwittingly left behind something that would change detective work forever

Elaine Defendants, Helena, Phillips County, Ark., ca. 1910,

The Massacre of Black Sharecroppers That Led the Supreme Court to Curb the Racial Disparities of the Justice System

White Arkansans, fearful of what would happen if African-Americans organized, took violent action, but it was the victims who ended up standing trial

Exterior of the Iroquois Theatre, Chicago, Illinois, 1903

The Iroquois Theater Disaster Killed Hundreds and Changed Fire Safety Forever

The deadly conflagration ushered in a series of reforms that are still visible today

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