American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 51, No. 5, September

"Aircraft 53-1876A Has Lost a Device"
How the U.S. Air Force came to drop an A-bomb on South Carolina ON THE AFTERNOON OF MARCH 11, 1958, THE Gregg sisters--Helen, six, and Frances, nine--and their cousin Ella Davies, nine, were in the playhouse their father had built for them in the...
Cents and Sensibility
Why we hate the new money. I WAS ONCE IN A GROCERY STORE IN ITALY, FUMBLING through a mound of pocket change to pay for my lunch. The old woman at the cash register reached across the counter and pointed helpfully at the elegant brass-inlaid 500-lire...
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina, is a treasure chest, brimming with riches that enchant 3 million visitors every year. Rich in history, sparkling seaside scenery and colorful celebrations, this gracious city is a top travel destination. Charleston welcomes...
Civil War Crossroads
How two devotees of the American flag and one Supreme Court justice shaped the story of a border town--and the nation THE ITALIANATE BUILDING at 101 West Church Street in Frederick, Maryland, had by 1861 become a house divided. The patriarch of...
Fragments of a War
"THE COLD WAR is over," said Paul Tsongas, campaigning for the Presidency in 1992. "Japan won." Well, maybe. It takes a long time to sort out a war; Americans are still debating what the Civil War was actually about, and we're not entirely sure...
Intimate ENEMIES
When John Adams was elected President, and Thomas Jefferson Vice President, each came to see the other as a traitor. Out of their enmity grew our modern political system. DURING THE FIRST CONtested presidential election in American history, the...
Mr. Smith Goes Underground
The strangest of all Cold War relics also offers a clue to why we won it At six-thirty on Monday evening, October 22, 1962, 146 members of the Folding Paper Box Association, highballs and filter-tipped cigarettes in hand, swung into the cocktail...
The Day We Shot Down the U-2
Nikita Khrushchev's son remembers a great turning point of the Cold War, as seen from behind the Iron Curtain ON MAY 1, 1960, A SOVIET V-750 surface-to-air missile (known in America as the SA-Z "Guideline") shot down a U-2, one of the "invulnerable"...
The Monopoly Nobody Doesn't Like
The game that has sold 200 million sets was born to teach its players about the evils of capitalism NO COUNTRY IS SO OBSESSED WITH THE IDEA THAT MONOPOLY IS EVIL as the United States. The response of other industrializing societies to the development...
The Nun's Story
A look at one of America's most resilient prejudices THOSE fortified with enough caffeine to follow our presidential race, may have noticed the frequent presence of a priest behind George W. Bush. Not so long ago, such an escort would have been...
The Time Machine
September 1975 Twenty-five Years Ago Textual Perversity in Chicago On September 29, the nation's roster of English-language newspapers increased by one as the Chicago Tribune abandoned its use of "simplified" spelling, a quixotic experiment...
The Twenty-Second Great Battle
ON JUNE 27, 1950, TWO DAYS AFTER THE NORTH KOREANS INVADED South Korea, I received a memorandum: "Subject: Appointment as Official Spokesman. To: Lieutenant Colonel Edward L. Rowny. 1. Effective immediately, in addition to your duties as Plans Officer,...
Visiting the Cold War Today
From Berlin to Washington to Area 51, landmarks of the era are opening up to tourists. BERLIN, ON A COLD WAR DAY ONLY GEORGE SMILEY could love: John Le Carre's hero would recognize the chill rain of this false spring. But the Kurfurstendamm remains...
When Sex Drives Technological Innovation
And why it has to UNLESS YOU'VE NEVER BEEN ONLINE, VISITED A VIDEO-RENTAL STORE, watched cable TV, or turned on the set in a modern hotel, you know how much technology has changed the landscape of sex in recent decades. Or at least the landscape...