University of Toledo Student Featured on History Detectives
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University of Toledo Student Featured on History Detectives

Tuesday, December 8 at 8:00 p.m.

University of Toledo student and U.S. Marine Corps veteran DeMarqus Townsend and his mother Tara Johnson are featured in this edition of "History Detectives."

Tukufu Zuberi, one of the show's hosts, owns a vintage World War I poster depicting an African-American solder in battle. It turns out that the scene in the poster was inspired by Johnson's grandfather and Townsend's great-grandfater, Henry Lincoln Johnson, who fought heroically in the First World War.

When Zuberi discovered this he invited Tara Johnson and DeMarqus Townsend to meet him at Henry Lincoln Johnson's grave at Arlington National Cemetery to help him learn more about the man in the poster.

Although hailed as a fearless hero, Henry Lincoln Johnson returned home after the War to a country still torn by racism and segregation. He died in poverty and obscurity.

Eventually, Johnson was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, the Distinguished Service Cross and France's Croix de Guerre. While taping this edition of "History Detectives," Zuberi learned that the family is hoping for one more honor -- the Medal of Honor. The family's application for the Medal is under consideration. The Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States.

Zuberi also learned that in addition to Henry Johnson's service during World War I, and DeMarqus Townsend's service in the Marine Corps in Afghanistan, Johnson's son, Herman Johnson was one of the famed Tuskegee Airmen.

Pictured: History Detective Tukufu Zuberi shakes hands with UT student DeMarqus Townsend. Also pictured is Townsend's mother, Tara Johnson.
At right: Tukufu Zuberi.