Historical

Dreaming big despite adversity: Oscar Niemeyer

September 19, 2013
Oscar Niemeyer, one of the world’s most prominent modern architects, is re­­nowned for his light, airy and fanciful structures. Famous for designing the capital city of Brasília, and for collaborating with Le Corbusier on the United Nations headquarters in New York, Niemeyer was a pioneer who needed to escape the clutches of fascism to continue his work.

Cochran paved the way for women pilots

December 26, 2012
At her death in 1980, Jacqueline Cochran held more speed, altitude and distance records than any other pilot in aviation history. But it wasn’t her precociousness that turned Cochran into a force in American history. It was her guts.

Sam Adams used propaganda as a tool

December 19, 2012

Sometimes, leaders must resort to subterfuge. That’s what Samuel Adams and other colonists did to whip up hostility against the English in the late 1760s. One of Adams’ tools was a news service reporting the misdeeds of the British troops in Boston, cooking up charges true and false when the situation got bad enough to incite war.

Pope John Paul II: people power

October 11, 2012
One way to understand Pope John Paul II as a leader is to look at his papacy—the first held by a non-Italian pope in 455 years—as a vehicle for change. In part, here’s how Karol Wojtyla surprised and affected so many people around the world.

George Washington’s ‘7 habits’

August 9, 2012
Who are we to argue with the assertion that America’s greatest leader was its first? It’s all true: George Washington ran two major start-ups—the army and the presidency—in addition to his farm and other businesses. Not to mention the Constitutional Convention, which he chaired. In a nutshell, here’s how Washington worked.

A woman of talents and means

July 19, 2012
Margaret Brent was not only the first woman to act as an attorney in the New World, but she was the first private owner of immense tracts of land in Maryland and Virginia and is best known as the first woman in America to ask for the right to vote.

Behind the famous cry of a sea battle

July 11, 2012
During the most famous sea battle of the American Revolution, when John Paul Jones uttered his famous words— “Surrender? I have not yet begun to fight!”—things weren’t looking good for him and his ship. Another leader might have run. But Jones led through a combination of hope and fear.

A man of merit: John Adams

April 20, 2012
John Adams was a founding father and second president of the United States, but perhaps his greatest acts of leadership were in recommending George Washington to be president, and John Marshall a justice of the Supreme Court.

Grant earned his leadership badge

March 6, 2012
President Ulysses S. Grant was known as a horseman, but few realize the extent of his mastery in the saddle. His son Frederick said: “My father was the best horseman in the army, he rode splendidly and always on magnificent and fiery horses … Oftentimes, I saw him ride a beast that none had approached.”

Her truth keeps marching on

February 21, 2012
With a legacy as author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and as a thought leader, Julia Ward Howe influenced the course of the Civil War. She stuck to her resolution of writing what she thought, no matter whom it offended (her own husband included). Yet, she was known as a builder. “Ambitious people climb,” she said, “but faithful people build.”