Many people have described their wartime experiences in letters home. But very few have chronicled war for the people doing the fighting. Bill Mauldin, World War II's most famous cartoonist, is one of them. In 1943, when he was 21, Mauldin's division shipped overseas to North Africa. Mauldin had been drawing cartoons since he was a boy, and he was quickly assigned to cover the war for the 45th Division News, and then for Stars and Stripes. His cartoons, featuring a scruffy pair of foot soldiers named Willie and Joe, scored an instant hit with the soldiers who saw them. Within two years, Mauldin won fame -- and a Pulitzer Prize -- for capturing foot soldiers' everyday experiences.
As Mauldin described his famous GIs, "they matured overseas during the stresses of shot, shell, and K-rations, and grew whiskers because shaving water was scarce in mountain foxholes." Enjoy this sampling of Mauldin's work, courtesy of his publisher, Presidio Press.
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American comandante William Morgan went to Cuba to help Fidel Castro return the country to a democracy. Instead, four years later, he was executed.
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In the early 1830s, Texas, ruled by Mexico, held 20,000 U.S. settlers and 4,000 Mexican Tejanos, forcing residents to pick sides.
The first officially formed regiment of northern black soldiers who fought in the Civil War.
The U.S. and the Soviet Union race to build the hydrogen bomb during the Cold War, thus beginning the nuclear arms race.
Ten years after American troops arrived in South Vietnam, communists seized Saigon in an attack that brought the war to a startling conclusion.
In the summer of 1940, 10,000 children were sent from wartime Britain to the United States.