The Black Nurses Who Were Forced to Care for German Prisoners of War

Prohibited From Tending to White GIs, the Women Felt Betrayed by the Country They Sought to Serve

On the summer afternoon in 1944 that 23-year-old Elinor Powell walked into the Woolworth’s lunch counter in downtown Phoenix, it never occurred to her that she would be refused service. She was, after all, an officer in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, serving her country during wartime, and she had grown up in a predominantly white, upwardly mobile Boston suburb that didn’t subject her family to discrimination.

But the waiter who turned Elinor away wasn’t moved by her patriotism. All he saw was her brown skin. It probably never …

How the U.S. Military Brought Soul Food to the World

After Serving Overseas, Black Servicemen Opened Joints That Dished up Chitlins, Cornbread, and Fried Chicken

Soul food ambassadors: probably not who comes to mind when you think of the African Americans who have served overseas in the U.S. armed forces. Yet no other group of …

How the Industrial Age Fuels Our Belief in UFOs

Fears of Zeppelins, Rockets, and Drones Have Replaced the "Celestial Wonders" of Ancient Times

In 1896, newspapers throughout the United States began reporting accounts of mysterious airships flying overhead. Descriptions varied, but witnesses frequently invoked the century’s great technological achievements. Some sources reported dirigibles …

The Reporter Who Helped Persuade FDR to Tell the Truth About War

After Witnessing the Bloody Struggle with Japan, Robert Sherrod Thought the Public Should Face the 'Cruel' Facts

Betio, part of the Tarawa Atoll, is a small, bird-shaped island along the equator in the central Pacific. Early in the morning on November 20, 1943, elements of the Second …

How World War II Turned Soldiers Into Bookworms

American GIs Devoured Paperbacks on the Front Lines, Spawning a New Generation of Readers

In January 1942, thousands of New Yorkers gathered on the steps of the legendary New York Public Library, at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street, wearing their Sunday best and warmest …