Vasili Arkhipov Prevented Nuclear War During The Cuban Missile Crisis
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Vasili Arkhipov is one of the unsung heroes of world history. Though you may have never heard of him, Arkhipov basically saved the world from mutually assured destruction in 1962. He single-handedly prevented the Cuban Missile Crisis from turning into the Cuban Missile, well, Apocalypse. Thanks, buddy!
Two Women Separately Tried To Kill President Gerald Ford In The Same Month
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John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald are names every American kid learns in history class. If you didn't already know, these men assassinated two U.S. presidents—Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, respectively. The names Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme and Sara Jane Moore are obviously less well known, but perhaps they shouldn't be. These two women, independently, attempted to assassinate a U.S. president, and they were the only women in history to do so. But that's not the weirdest part of the story.
Nobody Knows Who Designed The Taj Mahal
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If someone asked you to list the most important architecture in the world, the Taj Mahal would likely make your list. For this reason, it may be surprising to learn that NO ONE can say for sure who designed this famous structure. The identity of its architect remains a mystery to this day.The name most often attached to the Taj Mahal is that of Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan. But he only commissioned the structure. The Taj Mahal was originally created to hold the remains of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal (translated as "Chosen One of the Palace"). Mahal died tragically after the birth of their 14th child, and Jahan ordered the mausoleum to be built in honor of the favorite of his three queens.
The Tuskegee Airmen: African American War Heroes
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During a time in America when Jim Crow laws were still in place in much of the country, the Tuskegee Airmen defeated all odds. Nearly 1,000 African American aviators successfully completed their training and entered the Army Air Corps before the end of segregation.It may not surprise you that African Americans faced racial discrimination in the military during the 1940s. Blacks were widely considered unfit to serve based on key military leaders' presumptions that African American men lacked the intelligence, courage and patriotism to serve their country. While the U.S. Constitution guaranteed "equal protection of the laws for all persons," segregation was in full swing and The Supreme Court still allowed the "separate, but equal" treatment of Jim Crow laws. Harry S. Truman didn't desegregate the military until 1948, and Rosa Parks wouldn't refuse to give up her seat to a white passenger for another seven years after that. In this social climate, it's amazing that these airmen were able to do what they did.
Quirky Facts About Every U.S. President
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A president is expected to be strong, serious, noble, and deliberate. But that doesn't mean there's no room for quirkiness. All throughout American history, presidents have had unexpected habits and occasional eccentric behavior. Take William Henry Harrison, the 9th president, who kept a pet goat in the White House. And although there may not seem to be many similarities between presidents and Las Vegas stand-up comedians, Ronald Reagan, the 40th president, has been both.