Brothers to the Rescue—The Shootdown, and the Spy It Exposed

Brothers to the Rescue—The Shootdown, and the Spy It Exposed

Who were Brothers to the Rescue (Hermanos al Rescate)? Why were their planes shot down in 1996, and why was this such a disaster for America on the whole? Brothers to the Rescue was a group of American immigrants with the mission to save Cuban lives and incite revolt against Fidel Castro’s regime. Also known as Hermanos al Rescate, they would fly planes into Cuban airspace to make rescues. We’ll cover why two of these planes were shot down, and why the event revealed something surprising about someone working for the CIA.

Aldrich Ames—How the Soviet Spy Fooled His CIA Colleagues

Aldrich Ames—How the Soviet Spy Fooled His CIA Colleagues

Who was Aldrich Ames? How was he outed as a spy? How was he able to fool the CIA for so long? Aldrich Ames was one of the most senior officers in the CIA’s Soviet Counterintelligence agency during the Cold War. He was also working as a double agent for the Soviet Union. The CIA is supposed to be the most sophisticated intelligence agency in the world. But even some of the best CIA agents have failed to detect liars in their midst. Learn what it means for the rest of us when even CIA agents can’t identify liars like Aldrich

Cortes and Montezuma—The Meeting that Killed 20 Million Aztecs

Cortes and Montezuma—The Meeting that Killed 20 Million Aztecs

What happened when Hernán Cortés sailed from Spain to Mexico and met Montezuma? Why was Cortés able to conquer Montezuma and the Aztecs so easily? How did the meeting of Cortés and Montezuma mark a turning point in the way we think about other people? We’ll cover how Cortés and Montezuma met, and look at how this meeting between two people of completely different backgrounds, mindsets, and assumptions is indicative of misreadings of strangers that are common today.

Florentino Aspillaga’s Revelation About Cuba Shocked the CIA

Florentino Aspillaga’s Revelation About Cuba Shocked the CIA

Who was Florentino Aspillaga? What does his revelation to the CIA say about the problem of how to know when people are lying to us? Florentino Aspillaga was a Cuban intelligence officer disenchanted with Fidel Castro’s regime. In 1987, he defected and fled to the American Embassy in Vienna. Learn why what Florentino Aspillaga told the Americans was so important, and what it can teach the rest of us about how hard it is to know who to trust.

AK Steel Almost Ruined Middletown, Ohio

AK Steel Almost Ruined Middletown, Ohio

What is the history of AK Steel in Middletown, Ohio? How has AK Steel, and Armco before it, impacted Middletown’s economy? In Hillbilly Elegy, JD Vance tells the story of the impact of AK Steel on Middletown, Ohio. To fully tell his story, JD has to begin by telling his family’s story. Grandparents Mamaw and Papaw were raised in Jackson, Kentucky, which they left in the 1940s when Papaw found work in the Armco steelworks in Middletown, Ohio.

Hillbilly Highway: Hillbillies Come to Town, Alarming Locals

Hillbilly Highway: Hillbillies Come to Town, Alarming Locals

What was the “Hillbilly Highway”? How did this phenomenon start, and where? The “Hillbilly Highway” is a name for stretches of U.S. Route 23 and Interstate 75. It earned its moniker from the mass migration of “hillbilly” families from Kentucky to the midwest in search of jobs. We’ll cover how the “Hillbilly Highway” came to be and how JD Vance’s family arrives in Ohio in Hillbilly Elegy.

Sully’s Hudson River Landing: Who Was the Real Hero?

Sully’s Hudson River Landing: Who Was the Real Hero?

On Jan. 25, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 left La Guardia Airport with 155 on board, hit a flock of geese, lost both engines, and crash-landed in the icy Hudson River. Investigators later called Sully’s Hudson River landing the most successful ditching in aviation history. Pilot Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III was hailed as a hero. We’ll cover why Sully didn’t consider himself the primary hero of the “miracle on the Hudson,” and we’ll discuss how a simple checklist can save lives, both in the air and in everyday situations.