July 4, 1884
Corydon McAlmont Wassell was born in Little Rock (Pulaski County). As a medical doctor who had served in the public health field and for twelve years as a medical missionary in China, Rear Admiral Wassell became one of the first national heroes of World War II. His services in 1942 earned him the Navy Cross and praise from President Franklin Roosevelt in one of his fireside chats. The story inspired the movie The Story of Doctor Wassell starring Gary Cooper. The highly romanticized movie version led Wassell to joke that he owed his fame to the movie.