The Mariana Islands are located 1,500 miles from Japan in the Central Pacific. In 1944 this proximity made them strategically important to the U.S. war effort. The U.S. Army Air Forces wanted to use the islands as launching pads for B-29 bomber attacks on Japanese targets. The islands were also crucial for the Japanese, who had 30,000 troops stationed on the island of Saipan to stop the American advance.
In 1960, Francis Gary Powers' U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union.
While the U.N. debated strategies for control of atomic energy, the U.S. Navy was preparing for nuclear tests on Bikini Island.
The first officially formed regiment of northern black soldiers who fought in the Civil War.
In the Philippines, Army Rangers liberated 513 prisoners of war three years after the Bataan Death March.
The Battle of the Bulge was the biggest and bloodiest single battle American soldiers ever fought.
Lyndon Johnson pushed progressive programs before the Vietnam War eroded his support. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
The Alaskan Highway stands today as one of the boldest homeland security initiatives ever undertaken.
This 11-hour series analyzes the costs and consequences of the war that changed a generation and continues to color American thinking today.