George Washington takes command of the Continental army. (Mount Vernon via Smithsonian)

The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch; Flatiron Books (413 pages, $29.99)

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New York City has seen dark times, but in the spring and early summer of 1776 the outlook was especially grim. The Revolutionary War was in its early, chaotic days, the British fleet sailed en masse toward the city, and in a desperate defensive measure, General George Washington ordered thousands of his Continental troops into lower Manhattan. Almost a third of the city's citizens fled, and Washington's filthy, untrained and undisciplined soldiers quartered themselves in the elegant houses left behind. They were hungry, cold and scared, and they numbed their fear with drink, gambling and prostitutes. They were about to face the greatest military force in the world, outgunned and outmanned, fighting for a country that hadn't been created yet.

In hindsight, America's victory against the British seems like one of history's inevitabilities, but in the beginning it was anything but. And had a small group of pro-British conspirators had their way, the Glorious Cause might have lost its essential leader — George Washington — to imprisonment, execution or assassination.

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Retired Col. Joe Jackson poses with a permanent Medal of Honor display March 24, 2015, at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. The display depicts him and other medal recipients. (U.S. Air Force/Scott M. Ash)

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Medal of Honor recipient Joe M. Jackson, a retired Air Force colonel and veteran of three wars, died Sunday. He was 95.

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society announced Monday that Jackson had died in Washington state.

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The Bonhomme Richard, 1779 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration)

The remains of John Paul Jones' ship, the Bonhomme Richard, have been found just off the British coast, and are supposedly visible from a cliff and walkable at certain tides.

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U.S. Navy photo

DNA testing has identified the remains of an Alabama sailor killed at Pearl Harbor.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said Navy Chief Warrant Officer John Arnold Austin of Warrior was accounted for in September 2018, 77 years after his death on board the USS Oklahoma.

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Few people outside of military and veterans circles will likely recognize the name T. Moffatt Burriss, but the Army veteran's stories of valor and heroism during World War II were the stuff every infantryman's dreams are made of.

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