In 1959, John Howard Griffin, a middle-aged white man, decided to pose as a black man in the Deep South of the United States. What Griffin found shocked America. Born in 1920, the society he grew up in believed blacks were inferior, and so did Griffin. Yet one day, Griffin’s granddad caught him using a racial slur. He slapped his grandson and said, “they’re people like us.”
Several months before he passed away, George Washington said that after his death, all his slaves should be freed. The first president of the United States had kept fellow humans as slaves for 56 years. Historians credited Washington for finally seeing the light. Today the name George Washington is associated with honesty, courage, and freedom. The runaway slave that Washington relentlessly hounded and hunted would beg to differ.
The war on drugs costs the United States 47 billion dollars a year. In 2016, the U.S. jailed two million people for drug offenses. And in 2017, 72,000 people died from accidental drug overdoses. It’s safe to say the conflict has been a costly failure. In 2014, journalist Johann Hari began studying the root causes of addiction. He asked why are we at war with drug addicts? Is it the illegality of drugs that destroys addicts, or the drugs themselves? When societies ban a drug and then they criminalize its users aren’t they barking up the wrong tree?
Donald Trump was elected president of the United States on Nov. 8th, 2016. This was earth-shattering news to half the country. For former Nike executive Erik Hagerman, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Not liking the direction the country was going, he turned his back on the news and hasn’t looked back since. He started out thinking he was just taking a temporary break from the news as a way to preserve his sanity, but it quickly became a lifestyle choice.
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.
The United States recently elected a president against all odds. No one thought a billionaire reality TV star with no political experience could win, but he did. There is a famous quote that says, “In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve.”
Throughout his life, Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus wore many hats. He was a humble farmer, an aristocrat, and a member of the patrician class. He was given absolute power over the people of ancient Rome on two occasions and voluntarily gave it up each time. What made Cincinnatus famous in his time – and a legend in ours – is the fact that he was an honorable man.