This Day in History: USS Kearny is torpedoed by a German U-boat

On this day in 1941, USS Kearny is torpedoed by the Germans. But wasn’t the United States neutral in World War II at that juncture? The attack at Pearl Harbor and declarations of war on Japan and Germany were still nearly two months away. Believe it or not, several American vessels clashed with the Germans […]

This Day in History: Doris Miller, an “improbable American hero”

On this day in 1919, an “improbable American hero” is born. Doris “Dorie” Miller was the grandson of slaves and the son of poor Texas sharecroppers. His boyhood friends would remember him as a “real sweet person, not rowdy like the other boys.” He was a “nice fellow” whom they called “Power” because he was […]

This Day in History: The only Coast Guardsman to receive the Medal of Honor

On this day in 1942, a United States Coast Guardsman gives his life for a detachment of Marines. Signalman First Class Douglas Munro’s sacrifice would save the lives of hundreds of Marines, including then-Lieutenant Colonel Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller Munro would be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his action. He is the only member […]

This Day in History: Van T. Barfoot versus three German tanks

During this week in 1944, a soldier receives the Medal of Honor at a ceremony in Epinal, France. Colonel Van T. Barfoot has been called “[o]ne of the most significant Native-American heroes of World War II”—but he might be better known for a 2009 fight to keep the American flag flying in his front yard. […]

This Day in History: The Japanese surrender & the end of World War II

On this day in 1945, a formal surrender ceremony is held aboard the USS Missouri. Today is the anniversary of V-J Day! On this day, World War II effectively came to an end. It had been less than a month since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The bomb dropped on Hiroshima had been devastating, […]