10 Amazing Courageous People In History
A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
When researching this list, I wanted to find stories that convey the inherent altruistic nature we're all capable of, but don't often hear about. Those unsung heroes that risked everything for a greater good and, for a moment, transcended their own immortality to make the right decision where most others would have hesitated.
Some heroes affect one life, while others can change the course of history. Today we'll be looking at 10 courageous people in history and their amazing acts of heroism.
Lenny Skutnik and Arland D. Williams, Jr. save five seriously injured passengers of Air Florida
It’s rare that anyone walks away from the crash of an airplane, especially when it crashes and breaks up in the freezing Potomac. When Air Florida Flight 90 went down in 1982, only six people from the plane survived the initial impact. If it wasn’t for the actions of two men, this likely would have been even worse.
Four of the impact survivors survived due to Arland Williams Jr., the most able-bodied of the survivors who passed the lifeline from the rescue helicopter to the other, more severely injured passengers and crew. After the fourth was rescued, the tail section of the airplane sank into the water, taking Williams with it. A fifth passenger, Priscilla Tirado, lost her grip on the rescue line and fell back in to the water. A bystander, Lenny Skutnik, stripped off his coat and boots and dove into the freezing water, tying the rope around Tirado to pull her to safety. Without the actions of these men, it is possible that Williams would have been the sole survivor of the crash. He gave up his life, and Skutnik risked his, to help save the five survivors.
Dr. Daniel Ellsberg leaks the Pentagon Papers to the press, and sticks around to face the music
Long before Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning, and Julian Assange, there was Dr. Daniel Ellsberg. A strategic analyst employed at a global strategy think tank, he helped to contribute research to a study of classified documents regarding the conduct of the Vietnam War. It wasn’t until late 1969 that Ellsberg became disturbed by the course of the war, and he decided he should do something about it. Photocopying classified documents, he first approached members of the Senate, working throughout 1970 to try and persuade them to release these documents to the Senate. Unsuccessful, he shared the papers with Neil Sheehan of the New York Times, who then published them. After publication, Ellsberg then leaked the papers to other papers, including The Washington Post. Despite facing a number of charges that carried up to 115 years of sentences, Ellsberg stayed in the country instead of being a coward and running. He surrendered to authorities and faced the charges, and in 1973, all of the charges were dismissed.