American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 47, No. 2, April

Annals of the Third House
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] I am always a little dubious of unanimous votes like the 421-0 landslide by which the House of Representatives passed a bill to regulate lobbying at the tail end of 1995. Already adopted by the Senate 98-0, it duly went to the...
A World in the Middle of the Ocean
IN THE DAYS WHEN THE NORTH Atlantic was a crowded route, to choose a ship was to start the crossing. The fastest, the biggest, the newest: Often a single liner reigned as all three, with panache to spare for anyone who booked passage. Travelers who grew...
Butch Cassidy and the Karmann Ghia
Butch Cassidy and the Sun-dance Kid had just blasted into our local theater, and it was the most exciting movie I had ever seen. I was seventeen years old, and my horse was a '59 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia. It wasn't an ordinary Karmann Ghia by any standard,...
Caution: I Brake for History
"O Public Road... you express me better than I can express myself." I first read Walt Whitman's "Song of the Open Road," in Leaves of Grass, as an Ohio schoolboy. The great democratic chant struck me hard, a lightning bolt of simple, authoritative words...
Fountain of Riches
Water no longer flows from Portland, Oregon's Skidmore Fountain for the convenience of horses, men, and dogs, as its benefactor intended. Otherwise things are pretty much as they should be. The triangular crossroads at S.W. First Avenue, S.W. Ankeny...
Landmarks on the Rim
IF YOU DRIVE WEST AS FAR AS YOU CAN along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, you will come to a bowl-shaped building of logs and boulders nestled into the canyon's side. Its picture windows give out on one of the great views in the world: over Yuma Point,...
Lost Bird: The Infant Survivor OD Wounded Knee Spent Her Life in Desperate Pursuit of a Heritage That Always Eluded Her
They had been driven back and hemmed in by gun and telegraph and railroad and barbed wire, and in the end it was upon dreams, trances, and visions that they were forced to rely. So by the hour and the day they danced the Ghost Dance, which they wanted...
My Doctor
In May 1955 I went to work for the city of New York, first as a social investigator for the Department of Welfare and later, in 1957, as a probation officer for teenage girls deemed in need of supervision by court order. We city employees were enrolled...
Open Door
LAST FALL, JUST AS THIS ISSUE WAS STARTING TO TAKE SHAPE, I received an invitation to a press conference held by the European Commission, a sort of chamber of commerce of nations. In promoting a new tourism program called "Routes to the Roots," speakers...
Presidents in the Woods
HIGH ON A RIDGE IN A REMOTE, HEAVILY WOODED AREA OF SOUTHEASTERN Ohio, a towering stone figure of Warren G. Harding guards a rarely traveled gravel road. Barely visible through the undergrowth a hundred feet farther down the road are strange figures...
The Dinner Pail
In the years since I have had to use the services of a baby-sitter, inflation has hit this little business. I was amazed to find that the rate per hour has more than doubled. My grandchildren are baby-sitters, and they make a lot of money. Listening...
The Intelligent Investor
Andrew Carnegie once offered some free advice on how to get rich: "Put all your eggs in one basket, and then WATCH THAT BASKET." His friend, Mark Twain, borrowed the remark but had a bad habit of not practicing what he preached, and he was often in severe...
The Power of Live Steam
UNTIL 1955 STEAM LOCOMOTIVES WERE THE DOMINANT FORM of power on American railways. They pulled the fast passenger trains and the plodding freights. Their rapid replacement by the colorless but efficient diesel-electrics was very possibly unprecedented...
The Premier's Friend
Cautiously our driver worked the cab between trucks unloading yellow barriers on the street outside the downtown Royal, considered in 1972 to be Copenhagen's finest hotel. A polite soldier stopped us to apologize for the inconvenience, although he volunteered...
The Road to Modern Atlanta
WHEN THE OLYMPIANS FLY INTO ATLANTA, THE first sign of the city they will see from the air is not the skyline of proud towers, shimmering in the humidity, but Stone Mountain, the immense dome of granite sixteen miles to the east. Even from a mile in...
Under the Boardwalk
My two most vivid memories of Atlantic City both involve storms. Once, in the late seventies, I went to Atlantic City with my parents on what became an extraordinarily dark and gloomy afternoon. We walked on the Boardwalk, traipsing in and out of bright,...