+
upworthy
Joy

During the attack on Pearl Harbor, this black sailor broke the rules to save lives.

Doris 'Dorie' Miller's story is legendary.

During the attack on Pearl Harbor, this black sailor broke the rules to save lives.

When the attack on Pearl Harbor began, Doris "Dorie" Miller was working laundry duty on the USS West Virginia.

He'd enlisted in the Navy at age 19 to explore life outside of Waco, Texas, and to make some extra money for his family. But the Navy was segregated at the time, so Miller, an African-American, and other sailors of color like him weren't allowed to serve in combat positions. Instead, they worked as cooks, stewards, cabin boys, and mess attendants. They received no weapons training and were prohibited from firing guns.


As the first torpedoes fell, Dorie Miller had an impossible choice: follow the rules or help defend the ship?

For Miller, the choice was obvious.

Pearl Harbor attack

USS West Virginia and USS Tennessee surrounded in smoke and flames following the surprise attack by Japanese forces.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. National Archive and Records Administration.

First, he reportedly carried wounded sailors to safety, including his own captain. But there was more to be done.

In the heat of the aerial attack, Miller saw an abandoned Browning .50 caliber anti-aircraft machine gun on deck and immediately decided to fly in the face of segregation and military rules to help defend his ship and country.

Though he had no training, he manned the weapon and shot at the enemy aircraft until his gun ran out of ammunition, potentially downing as many as six Japanese planes. In the melee, even Miller himself didn't know his effort was successful.

"It wasn't hard," he said after the battle. "I just pulled the trigger and she worked fine. I had watched the others with these guns. I guess I fired her for about 15 minutes. I think I got one of those [Japanese] planes. They were diving pretty close to us."

attack on Pearl Harbor

A cartoon memorializing the attack on Pearl Harbor

Image courtesy of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

Original newspaper reports heralded a hero "Negro messman" at Pearl Harbor, but no one knew who Miller was.

The Pittsburgh Courier, an African-American paper in wide circulation, sent a reporter to track down and identify the brave sailor, but it took months of digging to uncover the messman's identity.

Eventually, Miller was identified. He was called a hero by Americans of all stripes and colors. He appeared on radio shows and became a celebrity in his own right.

Pearl Harbor hero

Doris "Dorie" Miller.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

Miller's heroism and bravery didn't go unnoticed in Washington, D.C., either.

In March 1942, Rep. John Dingell, a Democrat from Michigan, introduced a bill authorizing the president to present Miller with the Congressional Medal of Honor. Sen. James Mead introduced a similar measure in the Senate. While Miller did not receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, he became the first African-American sailor to receive the Navy Cross.

"This marks the first time in this conflict that such high tribute has been made in the Pacific Fleet to a member of his race, and I'm sure that the future will see others similarly honored for brave acts," said Pacific Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz following Miller's pinning ceremony.

Pearl Harbor hero U.S. Navy

Miller receiving the Navy Cross from Admiral Nimitz.

Courtesy of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

Following a brief tour of the country, giving speeches and pushing war bonds, Miller returned to Navy life.

In May 1943, Miller reported for duty on the Liscome Bay, an escort carrier.

Pearl Harbor World War II

The USS Liscome Bay prepares for action.

assets.rebelmouse.io

On Nov. 24, during Operation Galvanic, a Japanese torpedo struck the Liscome Bay, sinking the ship. 644 men were presumed dead. 272 survived. Miller did not.

On Dec. 7, 1943, two years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Millers' parents received word of their son's death.

Doris "Dorie" Miller gave his life for a country that didn't always love him back.

Miller posthumously received a Purple Heart, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp, and the World War II Victory Medal. There is also a frigate and a neighborhood on the U.S. Naval Base in Pearl Harbor named in his honor.

Though his Navy Cross was never elevated to a Congressional Medal of Honor, as recently as 2014, the Congressional Black Caucus moved to waive the statute of limitations to make it possible.

Pearl Harbor hero

Dorie Miller

Image courtesy of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administrations.

While there are medals, movies, and statues celebrating Miller, it's important to remember and honor the man himself — a 22-year-old black sailor who set aside the rules to do what's right.Poet Gwendolyn Brooks wrote a poem from Miller's perspective, the conclusion of which perfectly captures the young hero's courage in the face of bigotry and uncertainty:Naturally, the important thing is, I helped to save them,them and a part of their democracy,Even if I had to kick their law into their teeth in order to do that for them.And I am feeling well and settled in myself because I believe it was a good job,Despite this possible horror: that they might prefer thePreservation of their law in all its sick dignity and their knivesTo the continuation of their creedAnd their lives.


This article originally appeared on 12.06.16

Pop Culture

Here’s a paycheck for a McDonald’s worker. And here's my jaw dropping to the floor.

So we've all heard the numbers, but what does that mean in reality? Here's one year's wages — yes, *full-time* wages. Woo.

Making a little over 10,000 for a yearly salary.


I've written tons of things about minimum wage, backed up by fact-checkers and economists and scholarly studies. All of them point to raising the minimum wage as a solution to lifting people out of poverty and getting folks off of public assistance. It's slowly happening, and there's much more to be done.

But when it comes right down to it, where the rubber meets the road is what it means for everyday workers who have to live with those wages. I honestly don't know how they do it.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

5-star Scottish resort offers whimsical afternoon tea experience with 'naughty sheep'

Cameron House's Woolly Wellness retreat includes tea in the garden with adorably rude guests.

Cameron House/Naughty Sheep

Cameron House's Woolly Wellness retreat includes a unique sheep encounter.

Remember when "goat yoga" was all the rage? And then "cow cuddling" and "turkey cuddling" made everyone's bucket lists?

Now we can add "nuzzling with naughty sheep" to the mix, but with a fancy Scottish twist.

Less than an hour from Glasgow, Scotland, the Cameron House resort sits on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, looking as if it were plucked straight out of a fairy tale. Sprawling green grounds, gorgeous lake views and a four-story castled mansion greet guests as their "home away from home" (only better), and a perusal of the reviews show guests raving about the 5-star resort's elegance, beauty and exceptional service.

I mean, just look at this place:

drone view of cameron house grounds and lakeCameron House sit on Lake Lochmond in Scotland.Cameron House


Keep ReadingShow less

A pitbull stares at the window, looking for the mailman.


Dogs are naturally driven by a sense of purpose and a need for belonging, which are all part of their instinctual pack behavior. When a dog has a job to do, it taps into its needs for structure, purpose, and the feeling of contributing to its pack, which in a domestic setting translates to its human family.

But let’s be honest: In a traditional domestic setting, dogs have fewer chores they can do as they would on a farm or as part of a rescue unit. A doggy mom in Vancouver Island, Canada had fun with her dog’s purposeful uselessness by sharing the 5 “chores” her pitbull-Lab mix does around the house.

Keep ReadingShow less
@caitlin.the.realtor/TikTok, used with permission

Wait, so 90's fashion is in, but 90's hair is out?

Every era has its own version of what’s attractive. And very rarely does that aesthetic hold power with the following generation. In fact, it often becomes the opposite of cool.

Just think of Elvis. He might have been a universal sex symbol for a time, but it also wasn’t long before his pompadour became passé. Same goes for Paul Newman’s rugged manliness, David Cassidy’s babyface, Tom Selleck’s mustache. Indeed, for everything a season.

Which brings us to the 90s. The age of beach blonde surfer boys (real surfing skills not required, but a plus). Of flannel, lots of flannel, and super chiseled bodies. Let’s not forget this was the dawning of the term “metrosexual,” and also the time period that brought us that Calvin Klein ad with Mark Wahlburg.

How exactly would these guys measure up with the Gen Z kids today?

Keep ReadingShow less
popular

A wild Eurasian crow befriended a toddler and won't leave his side

Crows are so much smarter than we think.

A Eurasian crow.

A family from Denmark has created a touching video montage documenting their unique friendship with a wild Eurasian crow. This crow, affectionately named Russell, has become an honorary member of their household, forming special bonds with each family member, including the pets.

However, the crow's relationship with their son, 2-year-old Otto, is truly extraordinary. “They could spend hours just playing,” Otto’s mother, Laerke Luna, says in a video shared by The Dodo. "When Otto is outside, he will never leave Otto’s side.”

Russell, the free-spirited crow, ventures away from the family's home from time to time, but never for too long. He always comes back and announces his return by tapping on the door, swooping in to lounge on the sofa, or awaiting Otto's return from school atop their roof.

“When we are inside, he will sit inside the window because he wants Otto to go outside with him,” Laerke said.

The family’s relationship with Russell didn’t come out of nowhere. When Russell was a young bird, he had health problems so the family took him and nursed the bird back to health. Eventually, they witnessed his first attempts to fly.

Recently, Russell became friends with another family member, their second child, Hedwig. Although he does get a little annoyed with the bird’s frequent attempts to nab his pacifier.

Even though it’s rare for humans to strike up such a close bond with a crow, according to research, it’s not that surprising. Audubon says that crows are “some of the smartest animals in the world” with an intelligence “on par with chimpanzees.” They are also very social and family-oriented, so no wonder Russell loves Otto and his family.

Crow Named Russell Waits For His Favorite Kid To Get Home From School | The Dodo


Learning

Why you shouldn't throw your dishwasher pod into the bottom of your dishwasher

Dishwashers actually use the dirty water to know how to wash your dishes.

Photos by cottonbro studio and PhotoMIX Ltd. via Canva

Why your detergent shouldn't go in the bottom of the dishwasher

There always seem to be something going on with the pods and powders you're supposed to use in the dishwasher to clean your dishes. Either the pods don't dissolve completely or the powder gets all goopy and hard, never really fully dispensing into the dishwasher.

The inconsistency in product dispensing can leave you wondering if the dishes are even getting cleaned, causing some to toss the detergent pod into the bottom of the dishwasher. It would seem that placing the detergent at the bottom would allow for it to actually reach your dirty dishes. But Melissa Pateras, a domestic expert, explains that doing it that way isn't doing what you think it's doing.

Pateras actually breaks down exactly how dishwashers work to clean your dishes while explaining why putting the detergent on the bottom is ineffective.

Keep ReadingShow less