American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 48, No. 4, July-August

Death of a Demogogue
* On August 21 Sen. Theodore "The Man") Bilbo of Mississippi died in a New Orleans hospital. As befitted a United States senator and former legislator and governor, Bilbo received in death all the honors that Mississippi could bestow. Fifty National...
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Eagleton Has Landed
* On July 12, in Miami Beach, Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota won the Democratic nomination for President after a prolonged struggle. With the nomination finally wrapped up, McGovern began a deliberate, painstaking search for a running mate. The...
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Four for the Fourth
Can there be any truism that commands less actual belief than the one about history repeating itself? It certainly happens; but the absolute tyranny of the present makes the concept just slightly more credible than that of one's own mortality. All...
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Lifeline to a Sinking Continent
Secretary of State George C. Marshall received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the Harvard commencement exercise on the morning of June 5, 1947. That afternoon he spoke to a group of alumni. His message was short and grim. World War II and its...
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Making Sense of the Fourth of July
The DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE is not what Thomas Jefferson thought it was when he wrote it--and that is why we celebrate it John Adams thought Americans would commemorate their Independence Day on the second of July. Future generations, he confidently...
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Martha Dodd's Shining Season
It took a long time for the truth about Nazi Germany to sink it. And when it did, she learned the wrong lesson. The only complaint Martha Dodd had about her father as she grew up was that sometimes he'd start going on to the family about the Bible...
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"My God, What an Act to Follow!"(the Making of the James Cagney Film 'Yankee Doodle Dandy')(Cover Story)
Yankee Doodle Dandy was made because a Los Angeles grandy jury in 1940 released testimony identifying James Cagney as among a group of "communist members, sympathizers or heavy contributors." The charge was not new. Cagney had experienced "professional...
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Playing with Fire
What lasts a couple of seconds, ravishes the eye, and calms the soul? Americans have known since 1608. A tugboat pushes us slowly past the waterfront of Fall River, Massachusetts. Lined up on the steel decks of two barges are twelve hundred mortars...
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Sex, Violence, and Motorcycles
* In the summer of 1947 two events occurred that introduced a darker side of postwar America. On Friday, July 4, some seven hundred fifty motorcyclists and about three thousand camp followers descended on Hollister, California, for a weekend of racing...
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Teaching the Berliner
From 1957 to 1980 I taught German at the Foreign Service Institute School of Language Studies, run by the Department of State in Washington, D.C. Classes were small, seldom more than four students, and I spent six hours every day with them, five days...
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The Bank War
With his usual furious vigor, Andrew Jackson posed a question that continues to trouble as to this day. The alarm bells are ringing for Social Security again. That's not exactly news -- predictions of the exhaustion of its trust fund have been made...
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The Bible Lesson
I was a young reporter in Chicago on the day in 1956 that Harry Truman turned the tables on me. He gave me the most memorable interview of my reporting career, but I was too embarrassed to turn it in to my editor. I was working for the Chicago...
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The Farthest Fall
Sometimes making a lot of money is a snap. And sometimes it's a snare. It is easy to make money in a bull market. Just look at the thousands of Wall Streeters who have done so in recent years, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average has broken through...
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There Is Something about a Martini
It's more than just a potent drink, and more than the inspiration for some handsome ancillary equipment. It is modern times, brought to you in a beautiful chalice. In November 1943, as Allied Leaders met in Teheran to plan the defeat of Nazism, Franklin...
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"Too Ricketty to venerate."(The Truth about the Lincoln Bedroom)(room in White House Used by Abraham Lincoln)
For generations, americas reserved their most fervent "landmark reverence" for those rooms that could boast George Washington--not Abraham Lincoln--slept here. But that was before the so-called Lincoln Bedroom in the White House assumed, just...
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Two Roads to the Top of the World: Up Fierce Mount Washington by Rail and Auto Routes from the 1860s
Up fierce Mount Washington by rail and auto routes from the 1860s. I boarded the cog railway for the trip up New Hampshire's 6,288-foot Mount Washington on a sunny, warm morning in September. An hour and a quarter later, I stepped out onto the roof...
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