Capra's films are known for being upbeat and sometimes cheesy, but beneath the surface are rather dark stories of American corruption.
On May 10th, 1849, protestors rioted at Astor Place Opera House, leading to the deadliest civic insurrection in American history up to that time.
Jessica Lynch was the first woman American POW to be successfully rescued. She became symbolic in ways that had little to do with the facts of her story.
In 1940, Wendell Willkie ran against FDR. The rumpled "man of the people" was a New York businessman with no political experience, but voters loved him.