Depending on whom you ask, Felix von Luckner was a noble, a gentleman, a pirate, and a hero. Born into a German military family, he dreamed of becoming a naval officer since he was a child, even though his father pushed him to follow in his footsteps and become a cavalry officer.
Have you ever thought about what happens to zoo animals during times of war? Most of us don’t think about innocent animal casualties. But thankfully, one South African man – Lawrence Anthony – did. When the US military invaded Baghdad in 2003, Anthony did what most people would never be brave enough to do. He ran into a war zone instead of out of it, all because of his love for animals.
Throw caution to the wind. With great risks come great rewards. Fortune favors the bold. English expressions like these have always celebrated men and women of action. But perhaps we should be celebrating cooler heads. Perhaps we should be studying the cautious, the careful, and the patient among us. Vasili Arkhipov was all of these things. Because of his caution, patience, and restraint, he stopped World War III and saved the lives of millions.
Born into slavery in 1839, Robert Smalls grew up working on a South Carolina plantation. When he was old enough, the plantation owner sent him to work at the docks in Charleston Harbor. It was there that he learned everything about ships. By the time the Civil War came around, Smalls had become an experienced seaman and was sent to work on the Confederate Navy ship called The Planter.
Millions of Americans admired Sergeant Stubby. His courage under fire was legendary. He was a decorated hero of World War I. He also had four legs and barked a lot. You guessed it – Sergeant Stubby was a dog. The short brindle bull terrier mutt was the first dog ever given rank in the U.S. Army. His story is the stuff movies are made of.
Throughout history, there have been stories of animals committing suicide. Two thousand years ago, Aristotle wrote about a horse that was so ashamed after unknowingly mating with his own mother, that he killed himself. While these types of stories sound improbable, there are cases where animals kill themselves, and no one knows why.
At the age of 13, a French peasant girl named Joan D’Arc began hearing voices and having visions. The voices told her to go on an important mission to save France. It was the 1400s, and England was occupying much of France, forcing many French people to leave their homes.
In 1986, three men volunteered to die in order to save hundreds of thousands of people, but most of us have never heard of these unsung heroes. When a nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine began releasing deadly radioactive material, workers didn’t know what to do.