The 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment

Painting of Black Civil War Soldiers in the midst of battle helping a wounded white officer

On July 18, 1863, a large force of Soldiers advanced in formation towards enemy fortifications outside of Charleston, South Carolina. As the sun set, the Confederate defenders opened fire on the 5,000 strong assault force.
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The 442d Regimental Combat Team

4 Japanese American Soldiers with weapons sitting in a jeep

In the early afternoon of October 27, 1944, a unit of Soldiers navigated through the rugged terrain of the Vosges Forest near the border of France and Germany. Just a few miles from them, the enemy had trapped and surrounded another group of Soldiers, the 141st Infantry Regiment, called the “Lost Battalion.” Isolated and cut off by the enemy, the Nisei Soldiers of the 442d Regimental Combat Team were sent to rescue them.
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Executive Order 9981

Group of Black and white female Soldiers in dress uniforms

On July 28, 1948, he issued Executive Order 9981 which stated that “for all those who serve in our country’s defense…it is hereby declared…that there shall be quality of treatment and opportunity for all persons without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.” When asked if the order meant an end to segregation, the president stated simply, “Yes.”
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The Army and the Cold War

Mushroom cloud from a nuclear explosion

At 5:29 a.m. on July 16, 1945, the world’s first atomic bomb was detonated in the New Mexico desert. This test, named the Trinity Test, changed history. In this new atomic age, new superpowers emerged, new alliances were formed, and fear underscored decisions.
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