Paul Rusesabagina, a five-star hotel manager, used his wits and words to save more than 1,200 lives during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
China in the 1920s was a new republic confronting great challenges—economic, political, and social. One of the most devastating was the early 1920s North China famine. Because this region of China was densely populated, the effects of this crisis affected millions. Triggered by a severe drought, the famine killed crops and devastated the livelihood of farmers in the northern plains of China. But dying crops was only one consequence. Thousands fled the area; others sold children into slavery, and upward of half a million people died. The areas decimated were largely governed by warlords, which further aggravated the situation since they used the crisis for their own political and economic gain.
With Emperor Meiji’s ascension to the throne in 1867, Japan theoretically restored power to the emperor, but because he was only 15 years old he had little governing power. Instead, the power rested with the new government consisting of a small, close-knit cabinet of advisers. This new cabinet immediately began implementing a series of reforms to both strengthen and unify Japan. One of their largest concerns was that Japan would not be able to regain its sovereignty if it did not modernize. With the recent display of the superior armament of the United States military with Commodore Perry in 1853, such concerns were not unfounded.