American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 46, No. 3, May-June

Amending America
Six weeks into the 104th Congress, the balanced budget amendment (hereinafter BBA) that had passed the House almost made it through the trickier procedural shoals of the Senate with the two-thirds majority needed to propel it on to the state legislatures....
Businessmen's Autobiographies: Not Only Are the Good Ones Surprisingly Rare, Two of the Best Are Outright Fakes
Great autobiographies are few and far between. Not many of us, after all, possess the requisite talent, self-awareness, and willingness to bare our souls to the world. Perhaps, then, it is not surprising that the best of them have so often come out of...
Colonel Parrish's Orders
The young woman was niece to a Texas governor, with money and social entree most appealing to Noel F. Parrish, the son of a clergyman whose ministries had been mainly in medium-size towns of Kentucky, Georgia, and Alabama. But Noel didn't like his girl...
For the Duration
FINGER SOME OLD MAGAZINES FROM THE WORLD War II years. Among the earthy-scented, kaolin-coated slicks or the brittle, decomposing butterfly wings of newsprint, advertisements acknowledge cutbacks in consumer goods while the advertisers produced war essentials...
Germany's America
IN 1989 THE BERLIN WALL CAME DOWN. A year later the unimaginable had become a reality: Germany, divided in 1945, was reunified, and it was beginning to raise a major voice not only in Europe but also in world politics. Hopes are high that this time Germany...
Mid-Century Shakers
The fifties may have been a conservative time in many respects, but there were two areas in which America went wild in that mid-century decade: design and consumerism. And in an odd way, the seemingly humble tabletop objects on the right were the perfect...
Normandy, 1994
I HAVE ALWAYS HAD A SENSE THAT A WAR CLAIMS MANY more casualties than those who perish on the battlefields. Each statistic, each white cross or star of David in a military cemetery suggests a mother, a father, a wife, a lover, a child left to grieve....
Picture Perfect
It's possible to feel a trifle uneasy in the seductive presence of Woodstock, Vermont. "Woodstock is Hollywood's image of Vermont," the mayor of a less favored nearby community said recently. "The most perfect town in the Green Mountain State," I learned...
Plain Faking?
The story as Harry S. Truman told it was pretty good, even for that eminent storyteller. He was having a taping session with two friends, William Hillman and David Noyes, and his yet very active mind--he was seventy-seven in 1961--went back to 1944,...
The 36th Mission
MY STORY BEGINS IN 1925. I WAS THE YOUNGest of nine children born to Frank and Leata Clark, factory workers in southern Wisconsin who were hit hard by the Depression. My father died when I was thirteen. In October 1943, as soon as I turned eighteen,...
The Biggest Decision: Why We Had to Drop the Atomic Bomb
On the morning of August 6, 1945, the American B-29 Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later another B-29, Bock's Car, released one over Nagasaki. Both caused enormous casualties and physical destruction. These...
The End on Okinawa
Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945. The invasion of Okinawa began before dawn with two Army and two Marine divisions abreast, a column of landing craft eight miles long bucking and pitching through rough seas toward the beaches. It would be the last battle...
Tokyo, 1945
FIFTY YEARS AGO, IN THE SUMMER OF 1945, I was a naval officer in Norfolk, Virginia, contemplating my inevitable return to the Western Pacific, when two bombs were dropped, the Soviets entered the war, and the Japanese emperor prevailed on his government...