"Don't be afraid." That's what Ruby Bridges's mother told her on November 4, 1960. Little Ruby listened carefully to the advice. Soon, four United States federal court marshals, or officers, arrived at the Bridges family home in New Orleans, La., to drive the first grader to William Frantz Public School. A screaming mob was waiting. People stood near the building shouting. Ruby held her head high. With the marshals surrounding her, the 6-year-old walked into the school and into history
Orli Wald was a member of the German Resistance in Nazi Germany. She was arrested in 1936 and charged with high treason, whereupon she served four and a half years in a women's prison, followed by "protective custody" in Nazi concentration camps until 1945, when she escaped. She was a prisoner functionary in the infirmary at Auschwitz-Birkenau and because of her helpfulness to Jewish and other prisoners, was called the "Angel of Auschwitz".
On Sep 13, 1944, a princess from India lay dead at Dachau concentration camp. She had been tortured by the Nazis, then shot in the head. Her name was Noor Inayat Khan. The Germans knew her only as Nora Baker, a British spy who had gone into occupied France using the code name Madeline. She carried her transmitter from safe house to safe house with the Gestapo trailing her, providing communications for her Resistance unit.
Notorious transvestites who scandalised London in 1870, Fanny & Stella. The day after their arrest, the ladies arrived sensationally at Bow Street magistrates court where nearly 1,000 people gathered to watch them be taken inside. The two men spent 4 months in jail awaiting trial, and if convicted, their sentence would be between 10 years and life in prison. But despite the fact that their apartment had been under surveillance for a year, the prosecution case was weak and the men were…
In 1971, in Indiana, Carl Brandt at age 13 was sent to the mental institution after he murdered his pregnant mother and wounded his father. He was released a year later. In 2004, in Florida, he murdered his wife and murdered and dismembered his niece. He hanged himself the same day. Florida suspects Brandt is responsible for two other murders.
Three men who stood in the same line in Auschwitz have nearly consecutive numbers: From left, Menachem Shulovitz, 80, bears B14594; Anshel Udd Sharezky, 81, was B14595; and Jacob Zabetzky, 83, was B14597. “We were strangers standing in line in Auschwitz, we all survived different paths of hell, and we met in Israel,” Mr. Sharezky said. "We stand here together now after 65 years. Do you realize the magnitude of the miracle?”
Rabbi Moshe Hegerman, of Olkusz, saying Kaddish for his slain community, just before his own execution. Poland, ca. 1941. One of the most powerful photos from the Shoa. Notice the faces of the young soldiers behind him. And who the F would take this photo!? Never again!!!
Eugenia Falleni, alias Harry Crawford, 16 August 1928. Convicted of murder. Eugenia Falleni spent most of her life masquerading as a man. In 1913 Falleni married a widow, Annie Birkett, whom she later murdered. The case whipped the public into a frenzy as they clamoured for details of the ‘man-woman’ murderer. Aged approximately 43. Sydney, Australia.
Nancy Wake. During the violent months preceding the liberation of Paris, Wake killed a German guard with a single karate chop to the neck, executed a women who had been spying for the Germans, shot her way out of roadblocks and biked 70 hours through perilous Nazi checkpoints to deliver radio codes for the Allies. And she was a New Zealander. In spite of Hitler she lives to be 98.
Ordinary people. The courage to say no. The photo was taken in Hamburg in 1936, during the celebrations for the launch of a ship. In the crowed, one person refuses to raise his arm to give the Nazi salute. The man was August Landmesser. He had already been in trouble with the authorities, having been sentenced to two years hard labour for marrying a Jewish woman. We know little else about August Landmesser, except that he had two children. By pure chance, one of his children recognized…
The first graves in Arlington National Cemetery were dug by James Parks, a former slave. Parks was freed in 1862 He still lived on Arlington Estate when Secretary of War Stanton signed the orders designating Arlington as a military burial ground. Parks worked as a grave digger and maintenance man for the cemetery. When he died on Aug. 21, 1929, Secretary of War Stimson granted special permission for him to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
In 1698 a man was imprisoned in the Bastille. This man had been a captive of the government since at least 1687 and for all that time his face had been hidden by a mask. He died in 1703, but rumors about his existence continued to circulate. The prisoner was treated very well, but two musketeers stood by him at all times, ready to kill him if he removed his mask. He ate in the mask, slept in the mask, and eventually died in the mask. Even at the royal court his identity remained a mystery.