Their intense faith and strict adherence to 300-year-old traditions have by turn captivated and repelled, awed and irritated, inspired and confused America.
The first man to fly across the Atlantic, Charles Lindbergh was unprepared for the attention, particularly after his son was kidnapped.
The American effort to relieve starvation in Soviet Russia in 1921 during the worst natural disaster in Europe in 500 years.
When two passenger ships collide off Nantucket in 1909, 1,500 people rely on 26-year-old Jack Binns to operate a new technology - wireless telegraphy - to save them all.
Legendary bank robber John Dillinger garnered the admiration of many struggling Americans, but FBI took him down with a message: crime doesn't pay.
The 1968 Democratic National Convention saw a clash of political visions on the convention floor and violence outside on the streets of Chicago.
Silent film actress Mary Pickford played a pivotal role in bringing Hollywood into the center of the motion picture industry.
The first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, Earhart disappeared in 1937 during an attempt to circumnavigate the world by airplane.