Hi, I’m Secretary of State Mark Martin,
and welcome to This Week in Arkansas History. Today I want to tell you about another
American hero. John Henry Pruitt was born
in northwest Arkansas in 1896. He grew up in Arizona and joined
the Marines in 1917. Corporal Pruitt was sent to Europe with the
Sixth Marine Regiment during World War One. He was struck by nerve gas in June 1918.
When he recovered, he returned to his regiment. On October 3rd, during combat in France,
Pruitt launched a single-handed attack. He captured two machine guns and 40 enemy
soldiers before being struck by a mortar shell. He died on October 4th — his 22nd birthday. Pruitt was posthumously awarded
the Medal of Honor by both the U.S. Navy and Army. Only five Marines have received both honors. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. In 1920, the destroyer, U.S.S. Pruitt
was launched in his honor. Join me next week for
This Week in Arkansas History, and visit the Medal of Honor memorial
next time you’re at the Capitol.