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In October 1918, 600 men of the 77th Division attacked a heavily defended German position, charging forward until they were completely surrounded by enemy forces. Only 194 men walked out when they were finally rescued.

A century after the guns fell silent along the Western Front, the work they did there remains of incalculable importance to the age we inhabit and the people we are

John Nicolay and John Hay were Lincoln’s two closest aides in the White House, and helped to craft the image of the President we have today.

Thomas Paine's Common Sense helped Americans "decide upon the propriety of separation,” as George Washington said.

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History around the web

The AP's Secret Deal with the Nazis, by Michael S. Rosenwald Did the Associated Press violate the "Trading with the Enemy Act" to profit from selling Nazi propaganda photos, or was this an authorized effort to gain images with legitimate news value?
Frederick Douglass, Refugee, by David Blight Millions forced to flee as refugees and beg for asylum have felt Douglass’s agony, and thought his thoughts.
Gwen Ifill’s Clear-eyed Coverage of Bill Clinton, by David W. Dunlap This past year we lost a legend in the field of journalism. A look back at her coverage of Bill Clinton and the 1992 election and the journalist with the ability to bridge many gaps between race, gender and generations.
What Abraham Lincoln Can Teach Us About Ugly Politics, by Mark Tooley We should recall Lincoln's confidence in American democracy despite the perceived failure of the Washington Peace Conference of 1861.
Roosevelt Was Hardly Naive About Stalin, by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. When they met at Yalta, Roosevelt and Stalin had corresponded in more than 300 letters.

    Today in History

  • Grants takes Fort Donelson

    Union General Ulysses S. Grant secures the surrender of Fort Donelson, a key Confederate fort on the Cumberland River. Despite being outnumbered, Grant encircled the Confederate garrison and, combined with a strong naval presence, forced over 12,000 Confederates to surrender. 

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  • George Kennan born

    American diplomat and policy adviser George F. Kennan is born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Kennan, considered the "father of containment" following his telegram from the American embassy in Moscow, became the first Director of Policy Planning at the State Department. His works helped shaped American foreign policy during the Cold War.

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  • Decatur leads attack against Barbary pirates

    Lieutenant Stephen Decatur, Jr. leads U.S. sailors and Marines on a daring raid to reclaim the USS Philadelphia, a prized frigate of the U.S. Navy that had been captured by Barbary Pirates. Decatur dressed his men as Maltese sailors and boarded the Philadelphia, held in Tripoli harbor, forcing the pirates to surrender. After deciding that the Philadelphia was too damaged to sail, Decatur burned the frigate, securing an American victory in Tripoli. 

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