American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 44, No. 5, September

A Song for All
When Marian Anderson died recently, obituaries of the great American contralto recalled how, in the spring of 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to allow her to give a recital in Constitution Hall, their auditorium in Washington,...
Boomer Town: Oklahoma's "Rightful Capital" Retains the Tenacious Spirit of Its Founders
"Miles of wagons; a welter of horsemen; random shots fired in the air . . . from the four corners of that land besieged by settlers one cry goes up, |Oklahoma! Oklahoma!'" wrote the Cuban revolutionary Jose Marti, who was on hand to see the first Oklahoma...
Iron John in the Gilded Age: Behind the Yelps and Toms-Toms of the Current Men's Movement Stretches an Immense Fraternal Tradition in Which American Men Once Spent as Much on Initiation Rites as Their Government Did on Defense
"The Almighty dollar," Washington Irving wrote, was the "great object of Universal devotion" among Americans. Tocqueville described moneymaking as the "prevailing passion." And though the object of their craving sometimes changed, Tocqueville noticed...
Living in Our Own Fashion: The Most Celebrated of All Indian Leaders Gets His First New Biography
The most celebrated of all Indian leaders gets his first new biography in more than half a century In the autumn of 1884 a young Lakota named Standing Bear, a student at the Carlisle Indian School, was granted permission to travel into Philadelphia...
Long John
When I was growing up in the thirties in Cambridge, Massachusetts, there was a lot of antagonism between Yankee and Irish. I knew because my family was Irish immigrant on one side and Empire Loyalist on the other. All my friends were Irish Catholic,...
Mammy: Her Life and Times; Born in Slavery and Raised in Its Painful Aftermath to Become One of Its Most Powerful American Icons, She Has Been Made to Encompass Love and Guilt and Ridicule and Worship - and Still She Lives On
Born in slavery and raised in its painful aftermath to become one of the most powerful American icons, she has been made to encompass love and guilt and ridicule and workship - and still she lives on On Highway 61, just outside of Natchez, Mississippi,...
No Respect; a Rule of Thumb on Executives' Salaries: They Aren't Overpaid If There's Be No Company without Them
A rule of thumb on executives' salaries: They aren't overpaid if there'd be no company without them If Rodney Dangerfield weren't a comedian, he'd probably be an executive. They don't get any respect either. Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone...
Pacific Sketchbook: From the Last Peacetime Maneuvers in North Carolina to the Rubble of Tokyo, a Young Army Officer Took It All in and Gave It Back in Crisp, Increasingly Confident Drawings
For those who never saw World War II firsthand, its image has, of course, been shaped largely by photography. My own image has a further dimension It was shaped by the hundreds, if not thousands, of pencil drawings and pen-and-ink sketches and watercolor...
Prague, Texas: Exuberant Churches of Gothic Vaulting and Delicate Rococo Colors United the Two Worlds of Czech Immigrants Who Landed on Texas Soil
Exuberant churches of Gothic vaulting and delicate rococo colors united the two worlds of Czech immigrants who landed on Texas soil "If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, then, by God, it is good enough for the rest of us." This statement,...
Ruffian: The Heartbreaking Career of the Greatest Filly - and Perhaps the Greatest Horse - That Ever Lived
* There was a miraculous and all-conquering horse, a filly, not a colt, who in nine out of ten races brook or equaled speed records that had stood for years and decades, who in fire and presence and appearance was Black Beauty personified, and was,...
Rumford: The Strange Forgotten Life of America's Other Ben Franklin, by an Author So Fascinated He's Writing a Novel about Him
History, we're told, is written by the victors; a nation tends to focus on its patriots, not its traitors, and those who depart are forgotten when gone. But the history of revolution in America and the "revolt of the colonies" are two faces of a single...
Self-Determination, Again: The Sad Lessons of 1919 Are Eloquent about Today's Endlessly Wretched Situation in the Balkans
The sad lessons of 1919 are eloquent about today's endlessly wretched situation in the Balkans The chronicles of our time will someday record how President Clinton struggled in the earliest months of his administration to find an appropriate response...
Storm Warning
The saying has it, "There's no such thing as an ex-Marine," and in my case it's all too true, even though it's been nearly thirty years since those brief three I spent on active duty with the 2d Marines. In what history will regard as peace-time...
The Artist of Defiance
By the end of September George Wallace had arrived in the polls; 21 percent of Americans were supporting the former Alabama governor for President, making him a credible third-party force in the race while his Alabaman campaign workers struggled to...
The 'Banco.' (Influence of Spanish Furniture Styles in New Mexican Benches)
For three centuries, from the Spanish Colonial period to the present day, benches like this fine early-nineteenth-century example have provided handsome, practical seating in countless New Mexican homes and churches. In fact, a charred banco excavated...
"The Lines of Control Have Been Cut
In early October of 1963, Rep. Clement Zablocki, a Wisconsin Democrat, led a House Foreign Affairs Committee fact-finding delegation to South Vietnam. Invited' to the White House when he returned, Zablocki told President John F. Kennedy he thought...
The Secret Room
The early 1930s were not good to my grandmother. About all she had left were her memories of her childhood at the old home place. In Grand-mother's case the old home place was a farm outside of Glasgow, Kentucky. This was the center of her universe...