10 Unsung Heroes Of History

Heroes without the headlines.

Buzz Aldrin

Though history is packed with storied tales of epic heroes and devilish villains, the exploits of many brave or intellectual people often go overlooked.

History is not simply shaped by those who wore crowns, owned land and commandeered headlines. Instead, it is built upon the foundations of ordinary people doing very extraordinary things, and though we're frequently reminded of the pioneering exploits of Sir Isaac Newton or George Washington, there's always another person on whom the spotlight doesn't shine so bright.

So much of the intrigue of history is demystifying the happenings that aren't ingrained into our minds during lengthy lessons at school. Documentaries appeal to our sense of wonder, and aid our quest to better understand the less familiar influencers of modern history. Not only does this give us bragging rights during heated intellectual debates around the dinner table, but also piques our curiosity to know the unsung heroes of our favourite historical periods.

So to introduce you to such figures, and bolster your bid to impress, these ten figures had far more of an impact than we're led to believe, from activists and nurses to racing drivers and medieval knights.

10. Buzz Aldrin

Buzz Aldrin

The moon landing of Apollo 11 was perhaps the most significant human accomplishment of the 20th century. While Elvis was singing of suspicious minds and the New York Jets were celebrating their first and only Super Bowl, scores of brave men and women worked tirelessly to put man on the moon.

The USA dealt the killing blow to the USSR in the great 'Space Race' when they successfully sent a crew of three men to land on the surface of Earth's only moon, allowing humans to accomplish the feat for the very first time.

Often overshadowed by his colleague Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin was a vital part of the Apollo 11 mission, serving as the lunar module pilot. While Armstrong's famous words and even more iconic steps usually eclipse the details of the mission itself, the bravery of both Aldrin and Collins are not to be ignored.

The wander around the unknown is perhaps the single most scrutinised detail of our lifetime, with millions believing the whole event was staged. If the feat was true, then the recognition surely should go to all three men, not just Armstrong.

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Buzz Aldrin
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Fan of ducks, ice tea and escapism. Spends much of his time persistently saying 'I have so much studying to do' before watching Zoey 101 for the millionth time. Thinks Uncharted 3 is the best one.