American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 53, No. 5, October

1927 Jolson Sings! (Time Machine October)
75 YEARS AGO ON OCTOBER 6 THE Warner Brothers movie The Jazz Singer opened in New York City. In most respects it was a conventional melodrama. The creaky plot revolved around Al Jolson, playing a singer whose father wanted him to continue the family...
America Awaits! (Special Advertising Section)
Autumn presents the perfect travel weather; the summer sunshine still lingers and the colors of fall brighten roadsides across the country. Now's the time to take to the road! From the rustic beauty of Alaska to the historic treasures of Maryland,...
America's Bloodiest Day: It Made the South's Defeat Possible. (History Now)
JAMES M. McPHERSON IS known as the author of Battle Cry of Freedom, the best-selling one-volume history of the Civil War. Now he has written an absorbing short book, Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam, the Battle That Changed the Course of the Civil War...
Ghost Stories: Alex Vernon, '89, Never Actually Saw One at West Point, but Any Graduate Can Tell You the Place Is Haunted
I HAVE THIS STORY FROM A classmate. Let's imagine that I first heard it at dinner, where he and I sat with eight others at a rectangular table in one of the 10 or so rows of identical tables filling one of the six wings radiating out from the center...
Golf Grows Up: How an Eccentric Scottish Sport Conquered America
MARK TWAIN DESCRIBED GOLF AS "A GOOD WALK SPOILED." H. L. Mencken suggested that "no man guilty of golf [should] be eligible to any office of trust or profit under the United States." Winston Churchill summed up golf as "a game in which you try to...
Golf Tech: From Feathers and Ash to Tungsten and Surlyn
The first golf balls consisted of a leather casing stuffed nearly to bursting with boiled goose or chicken feathers. The ball was sewn tight, hammered into a semblance of roundness, and then covered with several coats of paint. A master ball maker...
Good after the Last Drop: A Cold Drink from the Cold War. (History Now)
THESE DAYS THERE'S NOTHING MORE OLD-FASHioned than a fallout shelter. It's not, unfortunately, that the threat of a nuclear attack seems so outdated; it's the idea that you'd want to survive one. Still, for those who are pessimistic enough to expect...
High-Spirited Adventure in America's Southeast: What Better Time Than the Month of All Hallow Even to Rediscover the Soul and Spirit of America? Families Traveling to the Southeast This Fall Can Scare Up Some Education and Entertainment in the Autumn Air and Come Home with a Yarn or Two to Tell-Of Hallowed Ground, Haunted Battlefields and Howling Good Times. (Special Advertising Section)
THE GHOSTS OF CHARACTERS PAST IN WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA This year, Colonial Williamsburg, the restored 18th-century capital of colonial Virginia and our nation's largest living history museum, celebrates its 75th anniversary and invites visitors...
How My Father and President Kennedy Saved the World: The Cuban Missile Crisis as Seen from the Kremlin
THE WORLD CAME CLOSE TO A NUCLEAR CLASH THREE times during the half-century of the Cold War. The first was in Korea when China's intervention snatched imminent victory from General MacArthur. Only a nuclear strike could save the situation, but President...
"Mistakes Were Made". (Why Do We Say That?)
THIS PASSIVE, EVASIVE WAY OF acknowledging error while distancing the speaker from personal responsibility for the act goes back farther in American history than one might expect. A few examples from earlier this year: "McDonald's ... admits mistakes...
Pennsylvania: Welcome to the Heart of America: As Inviting as the Hearth of a Mountainside Cabin, as Inspiring as a Patriotic Anthem and as Satisfying as a Table Laden with Home-Cooked Fare, Pennsylvania Spreads out Its Bounty for Seekers of History and Natural Wonders. (Special Advertising Section)
Pennsylvania's 11 distinct Heritage Regions encompass the trials and triumphs of the country's quest for liberty and independence. They illustrate the eras of industry, and they retrace historic transportation routes over canals, rails and highways....
Portland, Oregon: It's a City Framed by the Breathtaking Peaks of Mount St. Helens and Mount Hood, Only a 30-Minute Bike Ride from the Lush Farmland of the Willamette Valley, and Driven by a Powerful Sense of Community That Allows Its Citizens to Hold on to the Best of Its Pioneer Past While Collaborating on the Future. Randy Gragg Explains Why the American Heritage's Great American Place Award Goes to
ON THE LAST THURSDAY OF EVERY MONTH, ALBERTA STREET in Portland, Oregon, turns into a long buffet of grass-roots creativity. The energy was equaled only by the diversity on a recent spring night, when a Coltrane-blasting saxophonist led a parade of...
The Corps: The United States Military Academy Turns 200 This Year. West Point Has Grown with the Nation-And, More Than Once, Saved It
BATTALION AND REGIMENTAL leaders unsheath sabers for the issuance of shouted orders, and as drum and bugle corps thump and shrill, a great mass, 4,000 strong, moves into its mess hall of thick overhead beams below vaulting ceiling heights and the size-of-a-house...
The Official Car of Golf. (Special Advertising Section)
The tools are titanium instead of hickory, the old woolen knickers have given way to high-tech fibers, and swing mechanics have become as much a science as art, but still today, no other sport evokes such elegance and style as the game of golf. ...
The Rookie. (Screenings)
ARRIVING ON DVD AND VIDEO JUST IN time to provide an antidote to World Series hype, The Rookie, written by Mike Rich, directed by John Lee Hancock, and starring Dennis Quaid, is the best film about baseball since Bull Durham. Released last spring,...
The Same Game: When You're out There on a Bright Saturday Morning, You're Doing Exactly What William Howard Taft and Olivia De Havilland Did
Dwight D. Eisenhower was, by all accounts, a persuasive man. But even as President he could not persuade the governing board of the Augusta National Golf Club, of which he was a member, to chop down the menacing loblolly pine that regularly collected...
The Top 10 American Golf Courses: Legends Both Old and Brand New
There is heated debate these days about how modern golf equipment, especially a too-lively ball, is making obsolete many of the traditional "classic" courses. But our great old courses' modest distances are no reason to overlook them, particularly...
Value Judgments. (Letter from the Editor)
"OVERRATED & UNDERRATED" IS BACK AGAIN FOR its fifth year, and like so many five-year-olds, it's an attractive troublemaker. Attractive because a great many of our readers enjoy it and a troublemaker because it has always had the power to deeply...
When the Last Law Was Down: What Happens When You Set Aside the Constitution? (in the News)
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO be an American? This may sound like a trite question, but it is one that we have been asking for the entire history of the United States, and it has more relevance than ever in the age of globalization--and terrorism. Europe seems...