American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 48, No. 2, April

Butte, America: Poisoned, Ruined, and Self-Cannibalized, This City Is Still the Grandest of All Boomtowns
It's spooky up here on the top floor of the Metals Bank & Trust Building. Shards of glass and crumbled plaster crunch underfoot, obscuring the elegant tile pattern of the corridor floor. Heavy oak doors with pebbled windows and missing knobs stand...
Crossing the Line
* On April 15 Jackie Robinson started at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers in their opening-day game against the Boston Braves. In so doing, he became the first African-American to play in the major leagues since an abortive attempt at integration...
Eat This
* Early in the morning of April 7, Joseph ("Crazy Joe") Gallo went to Umberto's Clam House in New York City's Little Italy for a late supper. With him were a pair of bodyguards and some family members, including his bride of three weeks. The veteran...
Faces of the Florida Keys
Light. It's the essence of the Florida Keys. Starlight, moonglow, the rosy, golden promise of sunrise, the brilliant delirium of sunset. There's the splintered, dancing light reflected by the sea and the thickened, ominous light of impending storm....
Ghosts from the Sky
This July more than twenty thousand airplanes will make their way across hundreds and even thousands of miles of sky to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Some eight hundred thousand people will come to see them there, topping off the local hotel facilities, sleeping...
Great Scott
* On the morning of April 18, about eighty-five hundred United States troops led by Gen. Winfield Scott routed twelve thousand Mexicans at Cerro Gordo. Since capturing the seaport of Veracruz three weeks earlier, the American Army had marched inland...
Hannah Dustin's War
* On April 21 Hannah Dustin, of Haverhill, Massachusetts, who had recently been kidnaped by Indians, turned up in Boston. She brought along two fellow captives, ten scalps, and a harrowing tale of her abduction. The Abnakis had struck Haverhill on...
Hunting for Antiques in New England
It is only fitting that New England, the cradle of American civilization is also a paradise for travelers in search of' antiques. Almost any drive along the charming roadways that crisscross this quintessential American landscape of white clapboard...
Mystery Ship
Over a period of several months late in World War II, a ship's bow of welded steel plate slowly began to take shape at Washington's Naval Gun Factory. About fifteen feet high overall, it was perhaps twenty feet long fore and aft. Its purpose was not...
Normandy at Peace: A Moving and Respectful Calm Fills Places Once Shattered by War
Like my maternal grandfather, I'll probably always picture Normandy through a veil of cold gray rain. For me the damp climate meant looking at the landscape through a drizzly windshield and scrunching my shoulders up into my denim jacket--the only...
Out of the Woods
Blue Mountain Lake didn't appear that far away on the map--straight up the New York State Thruway and then west. Route 28 meandered a little, but I figured the drive from New York City to the Adirondacks would take three, four hours at most. Seven hours...
The Amateur Diplomats: How a J.P. Morgan Partner and the Former Secretary of the Navy Defused a Revolution Just by Being Good Guys
As I sweep the leavings of the 1996 election campaign from my data bank, two antagonistic names emerge with renewed clarity: Jesse Helms and Fidel Castro. Helms is the newly re-elected senator from North Carolina and the chair of the Foreign Relations...
The Death of a Monopoly: AT&T Protected Its Interests with the Fiercest Vigilance - and Thereby Helped Bring Itself Down
When MCI, the company that broke the monopoly that AT&T had on long-distance telephony in the United States and Canada, was sold recently, it went for $22 billion. That's not bad for an operation that less than three decades ago was having trouble...
The Lookout
When the name John Dillinger is mentioned, most people think of a notorious hank robber. My memory is of an unshaven shadowy man who stood behind a dirty screen door and motioned to my father. Daddy was a feature writer for an Indianapolis newspaper...
The Taste of Time: All across America There Are Restaurants That Serve Up the Spirit and Conviviality of Eras Long Past
Mr. Henry Erkins had a flash of inspiration in 1908. He could see every detail of it in his mind. Nevertheless he resisted the temptation to say too much at his first press conference, in case someone stole the idea and opened their own five-thousand-seat...
The Teapot Starts to Boil
* On April 15 Sen. John B. Kendrick of Wyoming introduced a resolution requesting information about "all proposed operating agreements" involving a government petroleum reserve known as Teapot Dome. The site, in Kendrick's home state, had been set...
The Witness
In September of 1975 I was appointed minority counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration. I was thirty-four years old and had previously served as a legislative assistant to Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott. Our committee consisted...
Toward the Little House
When she was a little girl in Wisconsin in the 1870s, her father would take her and her sister on his knee after supper in their log house and tell them wonderful stories about bears and panthers and little boys who sneaked out to go sledding on the...
"Why Harvard Does Not Win." (1897 Discussion of the Performances of Harvard University's Athletics Teams )
* The April 17 issue of Harper's Weekly addressed a growing social problem that in some quarters had come to overshadow tariffs, the Cuban crisis, and free silver. Under the headline WHY HARVARD DOES NOT WIN John Corbin, class of 1892, struggled to...