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the archives

1969During the first moon landing, the nation was fixated on one man: Neil Armstrong, the pilot who had, just three years before, saved the Gemini 8 mission and the $24 billion space program from disaster (see Page 20). At a time of immense upheaval, America needed a hero and Armstrong was it. Described as “quiet and diffident,” he was characteristically self-effacing when Newsweek asked about his role in the Apollo 11 mission: “If historians are fair,” said Armstrong, who died in 2012 at 82, “they’ll recognize that this landing is only one small part of a large program.”(KENNETH M. NEWMAN/AL GIANNI)1974Impeachment rumors are common now, but in 1974 even discussing a president’s forceful removal was rare. The House of Representatives had voted only once to impeach: Andrew Johnson in 1868…

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fighting to the finish

An explosion ripples across the war-torn town of Baghouz on March 3. Battered by Kurdish-led forces and U.S. warplanes, hundreds of outgunned jihadis surrendered a few days later, as fighting continued in the final patch of territory held by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS).…

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hear them roar

Protesters from the Italian feminist movement Non Una Di Meno (Not One Less) speak in front of the Labor Ministry on March 8. The group, which opposes violence against women, gender discrimination and harassment in the workplace, joined thousands of people taking part in marches and protests around the world as part of International Women’s Day.…

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double trouble

A man hoists debris at the crash site of Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 on March 10. All 157 people, from 35 nations, were killed. At press time, the cause of the crash was not determined, but it was the second time in a year that the newest version of the 737 Max 8—Boeing’s most popular jet—crashed minutes after takeoff; last October, 189 people were killed in Indonesia. Several international airlines have grounded their 737 Max 8 fleets.…

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out for justice

@NicoleGoodkindDOUG JONES WAS JUST 9 YEARS OLD WHEN ‘Ku Klux Klan members bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The 1963 blast killed four young girls and helped focus the nation’s attention on the dangerous struggle for civil rights in the Deep South.Growing up in Fairfield, just outside the city, Jones has vivid memories of Governor George Wallace standing in the doorway at the University of Alabama to prevent black students from entering, a racist act that reportedly inspired Robert Chambliss, one of the bombers, to commit the crime.Nearly 40 years later, as a United States attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, Jones prosecuted Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr. and Bobby Frank Cherry for their roles in the bombing. The delayed justice for the families of the victims…

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mission improbable

@SpyTalkerTHE PLANS WERE READY; THE $250,000 payoff cash was committed. On December 10, 2018, a former Air Force intelligence officer named Bob Kent was planning to board a plane in New York for the Middle East on a most improbable secret mission: freeing Robert Levinson from Iran.Levinson, an ex–FBI agent well into a second career as a private detective, had disappeared over a decade earlier from a hotel on Iran’s Kish Island. He had been seen only twice since then, first in a hostage video his family received from unknown intermediaries in 2010, and three years later in photos showing the then-63-year-old increasingly haggard and begging for help.At first, the U.S. government claimed it had no knowledge of why Levinson, an expert on Russian organized crime, had gone to Iran.…