June 11, 1996
In June 1996, as the Sudan denied reports of rampant slavery there, Sun reporters Gilbert Lewthwaite and Gregory Kane traveled to the African nation, sat under a mango tree and bought two half-brothers, 10 and 12, for $1,000.
Though the reporters freed the boys within minutes, their three-part series caused a ruckus nationwide. Critics accused the paper of sensationalism and questioned the journalists' conclusions. But the following year, Lewthwaite and Kane were Pulitzer finalists.