8 people, real heroes
Simple and amazing stories of real heroes. Everyone should know their names.
History knows a huge number of people who have committed outstanding acts and discoveries, but at the same time remained unnoticed.
Many of them deserve fame and wide recognition. This article contains the stories of seven such heroes - they are all different, but each of them made life on planet Earth a little - or even much - better and happier.
History from Konstantin Paustovsky
"It was spring 1912, a meeting was arranged before the exams in the garden. All the high school students of our class, except the Jews, were convened for it. The Jews should not have known anything about this meeting.
At the gathering, it was decided that the best students from Russians and Poles should grab a four on at least one subject in exams so as not to get a gold medal. We decided to give all the gold medals to the Jews. Without these medals they were not accepted to the university.
We have vowed to keep this decision a secret.To the credit of our class, we didn’t talk about it either then or after, when we were already university students. Now I am breaking this oath, because almost none of my schoolmates are left alive. Most of them died during the great wars experienced by my generation. Only a few people survived. "
World without nuclear war
September 26, 1983, Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov was on duty at Serpukhov-15, a secret bunker near Moscow, and was busy observing the satellite system of the Soviet Union. Shortly after midnight, one of the satellites gave a signal to Moscow that the USA was launching 5 ballistic missiles on Russia. All responsibility at that moment lay with the forty-four-year-old lieutenant colonel: he had to make a decision on how to respond to this signal.
The alarm sounded in difficult times, relations between the USSR and America were strained, but Petrov decided that it was false and refused to take any response measures. Thus, he prevented a possible nuclear catastrophe - the signal really turned out to be false.
Vasily Arkhipov, an officer of the Russian Navy, also once made a decision that saved the world.During the Caribbean crisis, he prevented the launch of a nuclear torpedo. The Soviet submarine B-59 was surrounded by eleven American destroyers and the aircraft carrier Randolph near Cuba. Despite the fact that it happened in neutral waters, the Americans used depth charges against the boat to make it rise to the surface.
The commander of the submarine, Valentin Savitsky, prepared to launch a reciprocal atomic torpedo. However, the senior on board Arkhipov showed restraint, drew attention to the signals from the American ships and stopped Savitsky. A signal “Stop the provocation” was sent from the boat, after which the American military forces were recalled and the situation was somewhat discharged.
Man with golden hand
At thirteen, the Australian James Harrison underwent a serious breast surgery, and he urgently needed about 13 liters of donor blood. After the operation, he was in the hospital for three months. Realizing that donor blood saved his life, he made a promise to start donating blood as soon as he turned 18 years old.
As soon as Harrison reached the age required for blood donation, he immediately arrived at the Red Cross blood donation center.It was there that it turned out that his blood was unique in its own way, since its plasma contains special antibodies, thanks to which it is possible to prevent Rh — the conflict of a pregnant mother with her fetus. Without these antibodies, rhesus — conflict leads at least to anemia and jaundice of the child, maximum to stillbirth.
When they explained to James what they found in his blood, he asked only one question. He asked how often you can donate blood.
Since then, every three weeks, James Harrison comes to a medical center near his house and donates exactly 400 milliliters of blood. By now, he has already donated approximately 377 liters of blood.
For 56 years since his first surrender, he donated blood and its components almost 1,000 times and saved about 2,000,000 children and their young mothers.
Eugene Lazowski was a Polish doctor who saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust. Thanks to the discovery of his friend, Dr. Stanislav Matulevich, Lazowski imitated an outbreak of the epidemic of typhoid fever, a dangerous infectious disease. Matulevich found that a healthy person can be vaccinated with certain bacteria, and then the test results for typhus will be positive,and the man himself will not experience any manifestations of the disease.
The Germans were afraid of typhus because it was very contagious. At a time when Jews infected with typhus were usually executed, Lazowski instilled a non-Jewish population in the neighborhoods surrounding the ghettos, near the town of Rozvadov. He knew that the Germans would be forced to refuse to move closer to Jewish settlements, and in the end they simply closed this area to quarantine. This saved approximately 8,000 Polish Jews from certain death in concentration camps.
The scientist who saved millions of lives
American biologist Maurice Ralph Guilleman created 36 vaccines in his life - more than any other scientist in the world. Of the fourteen vaccines that are currently used everywhere, he invented 8, including for measles, meningitis, chicken pox, hepatitis A and B.
In addition, Guilleman was the first person to determine how the flu virus mutates. Almost alone, he worked on the creation of a vaccine that did not allow the Asian outbreak of influenza in 1957 to become a repetition of the Spanish pandemic of 1918, which killed 20 million people around the world.
Immortal Cell Donor
African-American Henrietta Lacks died of cancer in 1951 at the age of thirty-one.However, she became a donor of cellular material that allowed Dr. George Otto Gey to create the first ever immortal line of human cells known as the HeLa line. “Immortality” meant that these cells did not die after several divisions, which means they could be used for a variety of medical experiments and research.
In 1954, a HeLa cell strain was used by Jonas Sok to develop a polio vaccine. In 1955, HeLa became the first successfully cloned human cells. The demand for these cells is growing rapidly. They were launched into mass production and sent to scientists all over the world to study cancer, AIDS, the effects of radiation and other diseases. Now scientists grow about 20 tons of Henrietta cells, there are almost 11,000 patents related to them.
Seat belt inventor
On July 10, 1962, Volvo employee Nils Bolin patented his invention — a three-point safety belt. It was the system that is still used in cars: Bolin spent a little less than a year on its creation, and for the first time it was introduced on Volvo cars in 1959.
The corporation made the seatbelt design free for other automakers, and it soon became a global standard. According to recent studies, Bolin's invention has saved nearly a million lives during its existence.