American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 57, No. 5, October

1781: The World Turned Upside Down
225 YEARS AGO AS OCTOBER BEGAN, Gen. Charles Cornwallis and his army of 8,000 redcoats and Hessians knew they were in deep trouble. In late August, after a summer filled with conflicting instructions, they had been ordered to establish a naval base...
Read preview Overview
1964
IT WAS A VERY BAD YEAR FOR ANDY RICHARDSON. "I'll tell you a story, true story, not a script for a movie," says the film director hero of Ward Just's fascinating 2002 novel The Weather in Berlin. "Andy Richardson was one of my father's closest friends....
Read preview Overview
1964: The Year the Sixties Began: Viewing a Transformation That Still Affects All of Us-Through the Prism of a Single Year
IT HAS BEEN CALLED THE "BURNED-OVER DECADE," A "dream and a nightmare," the "definitive end of the Dark Ages, and the beginning of a more hopeful and democratic period" in American history. It's been celebrated in movies like Forrest Gump and memorialized...
Read preview Overview
"A Total Eclipse of the Sonny": One of the Half-Dozen Most Famous Americans of the Twentieth Century Steps into Full Daylight
DRESSED LIKE MOD YOUNG CORNERMEN, the Beatles arrived at Miami's Fifth Street Gym in February 1964 for a publicity meeting with a boxer whose euphonious name meant little to them. Cassius Marcellus Clay was freshly turned 22 years old and (as a 7-to-1...
Read preview Overview
Born in '64
FOUR MILLION AMERICANS CAME INTO THE WORLD THAT YEAR. HERE ARE SOME WHO HAVE ALREADY MADE THEIR MARK ON 2006. Bobby Flay, October 9: Celebrity chef and restaurateur, with four restaurants and several Food Network television programs. [ILLUSTRATION...
Read preview Overview
Childhood Dream Brings a Fortune in Gold & Silver Lost in a Hurricane 140 Years Ago
Greg Stemm has adventure in his blood. His childhood fantasies were born as he sat in his piano teacher's waiting room every week poring over tattered copies of National Geographic magazine. "As a land-locked Michigan kid with dreams of the ocean,...
Read preview Overview
Four Centuries: How Jamestown Got Us Started
WE'RE NOT USED TO measuring history in great swaths of time in this country, where a hundred-year-old house is considered an ancient survivor. So it was with a sense of going back in time twice over that I read about Virginia's Grand National Jubilee...
Read preview Overview
Hazardous to Your Health: The Surgeon General Makes His Case
THE YEAR 1964 MARKED THE LAST TIME THAT anyone in America relaxed with a cigarette. The date, to be exact, was January 10, 1964. On the next day Surgeon General Luther L. Terry released his advisory panel's report on smoking and health. After that,...
Read preview Overview
Last Seating: America's Best-Known Chair Is on the Brink of Extinction
THE FEW PEOPLE WHOSE NAMES ARE TODAY SYNONYMOUS with furniture styles mostly worked for the rich, but one of them, Lambert Hitchcock, achieved fame by being the first to mass-produce furniture. By the late 1820s, when his factory was turning out 15,000...
Read preview Overview
Nightmare on Austin Street: It Was a Story So Disturbing That We All Still Remember It. but What If It Wasn't True?
IN THE PAPER'S MORNING EDITION FOR March 27, 1964, The New York Times ran one of the most indelible leads in its 155-year history. "For more than half an hour," began a front-page article by the reporter Martin Gansberg, "thirty-eight respectable,...
Read preview Overview
Roman Mosaic Found in Midtown Manhattan: A Glimpse into the Lost Civilization of A.D. 1957
THE REALITIES OF NEW YORK CITY'S DINING WORLD ARE cruel. The majority of restaurants fail. Luckily for diners, there are always more restaurants ready to take their place. The new owners of the space throw away the furniture and tear out the walls...
Read preview Overview
That Was the Year That Was: On What They Still Called Their "Home Screens," Americans Got to Watch the Future
THE BEATLES' APPEARANCE ON "The Ed Sullivan Show" in February 1964 remains one of the most watched television moments in history. Those who saw it remember it almost as clearly as they remember the near-continuous coverage of the Kennedy assassination...
Read preview Overview
The Car of the Year (and a Half): The Ford Mustang Changed the Industry When Its Creator Realized "People Want Economy So Badly They Don't Care What They Pay Fort It"
THE CAR WAS INTRODUCED ON Friday, April 17, 1964, at the New York World's Fair. But in another sense it had been born one Sunday in the late 1950s, when Robert McNamara, then president of the Ford Motor Company, sat in church and sketched out the specifications...
Read preview Overview
The Cost of Living: What We Spent to Get through 1964
THE HOME * Three-bedroom ranch house in Parsippany, New Jersey: $23,000 * Three-bedroom, two-bath house in Crystal Lake, Illinois: $20,900 * Four-bedroom, two-bath house in South Bend, Indiana: $16,000 * "Penthouse view" in doorman building...
Read preview Overview
The Greatest Series? Just as the Year Changed the Nation, So Its World Series Changed American Sports
SOME WORLD SERIES ARE GREAT WHEN YOU watch them, and some look great in the rearview mirror of history. The 1964 World Series looked terrific at the time and has only gotten better. (You can check it out yourself, $34.95 on DVD from Baseball Direct,...
Read preview Overview
The Other British Invasion: In 1964 the Most Popular Movie Star in America Held a License to Kill from the British Government
JAMES BOND HIT U.S. SHORES IN 1964 WITH AN impact that fitted the description Bond's armorer, "Q," gave of his .32-caliber Walther PPK: "Like a brick through a plate-glass window." Goldfinger was number two in the U.S. box office in 1964 and From Russia...
Read preview Overview
The Quietest War: We've Kept Fallujah, but Have We Lost Our Souls?
THE WAR IN IRAQ HAS been going on for three and a half years now. That's about the same amount of time America spent fighting World War II. This seems almost impossible considering how firmly the Second World War is embedded in our collective memory....
Read preview Overview
The World's Fair: It Was a Disaster from the Beginning
IT HAD NO FEWER THAN THREE OFFICIAL THEMES, the remarkably clunky "Man's Achievements on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe," the less than original "Peace Through Understanding," and the more or less meaningless "A Millennium of Progress."...
Read preview Overview
To Plan a Trip
THE JAMESTOWN-YORKTOWN FOUNdation is planning a series of what it terms Signature Events, ranging from an African-American Conference in February 2007 to a World Forum on the Future of Democracy the following September, with participants from around...
Read preview Overview
Why Do We Say ... ? Bunk
"HISTORY IS MORE OR LESS BUNK." MOST readers of this magazine, not to mention its editors, will disagree with Henry Ford's famous assessment, but it is hard to argue with his choice of words, for bunk is a classic Americanism. Stemming from a great...
Read preview Overview