U.S. Medal of Honor winner James Harold Doolittle was born on December 14, 1896, in Alameda, California. He died on September 27, 1993, in Pebble Beach, California. In the mid-1920s, Doolittle received master's and doctoral degrees in aeronautical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a U.S. airman who led the first bombing raid over Tokyo on April 18, 1942, in World War II. Later in the war, Doolittle commanded the U.S. Eighth Air Force in the European and Pacific Theaters. In 1922, Doolittle became the first pilot to fly across North America within 24 hours. He resigned from the U.S. Air Force with the rank of lieutenant general in 1946 and was promoted to four-star general in 1985. His autobiography, I Could Never Be So Lucky Again, was published in 1991.
Born on August 1, 1896, in Springfield, Illinois, Robert Todd Lincoln was the eldest and the only surviving child of President Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln. He attended Harvard in the fall of 1859, and he was kept in college while his associates entered the army, for his father, as he wrote to Grant did not "wish to put him in the ranks."(The New York Times, July 27, 1926). After graduating in 1861, he spent four months in Harvard Law School and left after he was given an appointment on the staff of General Grant.
On leaving the army, Lincoln studied law in Chicago and was admitted to the bar in 1867. In 1880, Lincoln became Secretary of War as President Garfield summoned him to the War Department. He resumed the practice of law in 1885, but was recalled to public service in 1889, by President Harrison who sent him to London as minister. Upon returning to this country, Lincoln resumed his legal practice and was ultimately named president of the Pullman Company of Chicago, one of his major clients. He served as Pullman's president from 1897 until 1911.
He died at his retreat "Hildene" in Manchester, New Hampshire on June 26, 1926. His wife, Mary Harlan Lincoln (1846-1937), and his son , Abraham Lincoln II (1873-1890), are buried with him on a hillside in Arlington.
George Catlett Marshall was born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania on December 31, 1880, and died on October 16, 1959. He was an American army officer and diplomat , who was also a Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army during World War II and the only person ever to be both Secretary of State (1947-1949) and Secretary of Defense (1950-1951).
Marshall graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 1901. During World War I he served in France as a staff officer and won recognition for his work. He was an aide to General John J. Pershing from 1919 to 1924. He became assistant chief of staff in October of 1938, and then chief of staff in 1939. During World War II, he supervised all U.S. military spokesmen at Allied Summit Conferences. He became a general in the U.S. Army in December, 1944.
In 1947, President Truman made him Secretary of State. During his tenure, the U.S. adopted a strong anti-Soviet policy, the keystones of which were the Truman Doctrine of Aid to Nations threatened by communism and the Marshall Plan for the economic reconstruction of Western Europe, for which Marshall was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953.
In ill health, Marshall resigned in 1949, only to be called back in 1950 as Secretary of Defense during the Korean War. He retired permanently in 1951.
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Audie Murphy was a young man so dedicated to his country, that he lied about his age so he could join the military in 1942 and be a part of World War II. Audie Murphy was a special soldier whose mind was set on defending his country. Beginning his military career in Italy and then moving on to Germany, Murphy rapidly moved up in the ranks quickly becoming a Second Lieutenant, and eventually receiving twenty-four medals for valor in battle.
After the war, in 1945, Life magazine had Murphy on the cover with the title "The Most Decorated Soldier" and he became recognized for the work he had done in the war. Murphy later wrote an autobiography called To Hell and Back which was adapted into a screenplay in which Murphy played himself. Murphy eventually stared in over forty movies.
Audie Murphy had a hard personal life, though. With a failed marrige that led to financial problems, Murphy's life went into a downward spin. While on a small private plane, Murphy crashed into the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and died in 1971. His grave is near the Old Amphitheater with nothing more than a government headstone. Soon after his burial, it was proposed to have a more elabrate memorial to him, but his widow declined. And in 1976, when the headstones of all U.S. Medal of Honor recipients had the lettering redone in gold, Murphy's widow again declined. Audie Murphy may not have an elaborate grave, but he will always be the most-decorated soldier who served in World War II.
Edmund Muskie was born on March 28, 1914, in Rumford, Maine, and died on March 26, 1996, in Washington, D.C. Edmund Muskie was a Democratic U.S. Senator from Maine from 1959-1980. He was U.S. Secretary of State from May, 1980 until January, 1981, succeeding Cyrus Vance, under President Jimmy Carter. Muskie began his political career in the Maine House of Representatives, serving there from 1947-1951 and serving as Governor of Maine from 1955-1959. In the presidential election of 1968, Edmund Muskie was the vice-presidential candidate on the ticket headed by Hubert H. Humphrey, which lost to Republicans Richard Nixon and Spiro T. Agnew. In 1972, he campaigned briefly for his party's presidential nomination.
John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing was born in Laclede, Missouri on September 13, 1860, and died on July 15, 1948. In 1886, he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and then served in the U.S. Cavalry in the West. After receiving a law degree from the University of Nebraska, he joined the Staff of Army Headquarters in Washington, D.C., in 1896. Then in 1897, he returned to West Point in 1897 as a member of the Tactical Staff.
During the Spanish-American War, Pershing distinguished himself at Kettle and San Juan Hills, and later served as Head of the War Department's New Division of Customs and Insular Affairs. He then led a series of expeditions among the hostile Moros in the Philippines in 1899. In 1905, he became military attache in Tokyo and went to Manchuria as an observer of the Russo-Japanese War.
In 1906, Pershing was elevated in rank from captain to brigadier general by President Theodore Roosevelt. He became, in 1909, a governor of Moro Province in the southern Philippines after taking command of Fort McKinley near Manila. Later, he led the difficult punitive expeditions against Pancho Villa in Mexico from 1916-1917.
In 1917, his experiences and seniority brought him to command the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) during World War I. AEF successes in the war were largely credited to Pershing and he emerged from the war as its most celebrated American Hero. Congress created for him a new rank, General of the Armies.
Later in his life, he wrote his memoirs titled My Experiences in the World War (2 vols., 1931), which won him the 1932 Pulitzer Prize for history.
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Pilot and astronaut Francis Richard Scobee was born on May 19, 1939, in the little town of Cle Elum, in the state of Washington. He was the commander of the U.S. space shuttle Challenger on its fatal mission and was killed along with six other crew members when the craft exploded 74 seconds after liftoff on Jan 28, 1986.
Fascinated with planes and a yearning to fly, Scobee enlisted in the Air Force directly out of Auburn High School. He was trained as a propeller mechanic and stationed at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. While stationed in San Antonio, he attended night school and won entrance to the Airman's Education and Commissioning Program. He received his bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Arizona in 1965 and earned his pilot's wings in 1966. The next five years were spent at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina. From 1968-1969, he also did a one-year tour of duty in Vietnam flying cargo jets. Scobee earned many military decorations, including the Distinguished Service Cross and the Air Medal for his services during the Vietnam War.
After training at the Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in California, Scobee became a test pilot in 1972. In 1978, Scobee retired from the Air Force when he was selected for the astronaut corps. Challenger was the second shuttle mission for Scobee, who was second-in-command during its scheduled week-long flight in April, 1984. He was the first enlisted man to become an astronaut.
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William Howard Taft was the 27th president of the United States and the nation's 10th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1921-30. Taft was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on September 15, 1857. He was educated at Yale University where he graduated in 1878 second in his class, and graduated from the Cincinnati Law School in 1800. In 1886, he married Helen W. Herron, a woman from Cincinnati who influenced his career considerably.
Taft was appointed in 1887 to the Ohio Superior Court and won a 5-year term the next year. President Benjamin Harrison named him U.S. Solicitor General in 1890. From 1892 to 1900, he served as a U.S. Circuit Court judge of the newly created Sixth Circuit Court. In 1900, Taft headed a commission to end U.S. military rule in Philippines. In 1904, Taft was appointed to be the Secretary of War in President Theodore Roosevelt's cabinet. With Roosevelt's backing, Taft won the Republican presidential nomination in 1908, and went on to defeat Democrat William Jennings Bryan in the election. His presidency was marked by controversy and turmoil amid a growing national reform movement.
After his stormy presidency, Taft became a professor at the Yale Law School and served as co-chairman of the National War Labor Board during World War I. President Warren Harding, in 1921, appointed Taft Chief Justice position of the United States Supreme Court. Serious illness forced him to leave the bench in early 1930. He died March 8, 1930, in Washington, D.C., and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Taft and John F. Kennedy are the only two presidents buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
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