American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 47, No. 7, November

1621: The First Thanksgiving, Sort Of
* Sometime in the fall of 1621, possibly in November, the settlers at Plymouth Plantation held their first thanksgiving feast. After arriving the previous fall and enduring a harrowing winter, the fifty or so surviving Pilgrims had planted a successful...
1721: The Inoculation Controversy
* Around three o'clock on the morning of November 14, a crude grenade made of black powder and turpentine sailed through a window of Cotton Mather's house in Boston. It landed in Mather's guest room but failed to explode, thus sparing the life of his...
1921: Ending the War to End Wars
* Three years after the end of the Great War, Americans dealt with some unfinished business from that conflict. On November 8, after the Senate had ratified peace agreements with Germany, Austria, and Hungary to replace the rejected Versailles Treaty,...
1946: C-Minus Rations
* On November 13 U.S. Army brass announced scientific proof of what any World War II veteran could have told them: C rations tasted lousy. In tests at Camp Carson, Colorado, soldiers fed on traditional C rations for a month had lost an average of one...
1946: Republicans Capture Congress
* On November 5 the Republican party won control of Congress for the first time since the Hoover administration, with 246 of 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 51 of 96 in the Senate. The old Confederate states remained solidly Democratic,...
All Roads Lead to Philadelphia
Shimon Peres came from the state of Israel, and Frank Thomas from the state of Illinois. Debbie Allen came from southern California, David McCullough from Martha's Vineyard and Paul Cezanne from the Provence region of France. Tom Stoppard came from...
... and Touched by Ike
In 1962 Brown Military Academy in Glendora, California, was a boarding school modeled after the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Like our older counterpart on the Hudson, we endured the indignities of plebe year, stood countless inspections, and...
Designer of the American Dream: Bill Mitchell's Imaginings Brought You the Cars of Detroit's Ultimate Classic Era
They sit like ruined villas in the distant reaches of mall parking lots, in inner-city neighborhoods and backcountry towns, dressed no longer in bright colors but in gray patches and orange primer, the last Chevelles and Biscaynes, GTOs and Sting Rays,...
Dutch Treat: Curacao's Island Culture Reflects the Colonial Reach of Many Nations over Centuries, but Its Buildings Belong to Holland's Golden Age
To promote their Caribbean island, the Curacao tourism authorities like to use a specific image. It shows up as the line drawing in a logo or as a seductive sun-struck photograph. The waterfront block of narrow buildings, painted in bright, luscious...
Engine of Liberation: What You Owe Your Car (Ending the Tyranny of the Horse in Only the Beginning of It)
The automobile is not an American invention. But an industry capable of manufacturing automobiles in vast numbers at prices the common man can afford most certainly is. And it is this invention that changed the world. To get some idea of just how...
High, Wide, and Handsome
When Clint Eastwood rolls into Meryl Streep's Iowa driveway in The Bridges of Madison County (1995), he is driving a clapped-out 1963 GMC pickup truck. You can safely bet that not one person who saw that movie laughed to see Mr. Eastwood in a pickup...
Just Another Weapon
The year was 1955, and the U.S. Army had embarked on a program of developing relatively small tactical nuclear weapons that could be used on the battlefield. A series of atmospheric tests in Nevada had convinced military scientists that properly trained...
Nice Work If You Can Keep It: George Selden Never Built a Car Himself, but He Did Manage to Secure a Patent on Every Auto Manufactured
The usual image of invention is of the solitary genius struggling in his garret with an idea only he has faith in. One day he shouts, "Eureka!" and the world changes. Sometimes this is actually the case. Thomas Edison, after all, was entitled to shout,"Eureka!"...
Road Book: The Most American of American Literary Genres Is Nearly as Old as the Motorcar Itself
With Frederick Jackson Turner`s declaration that America`s Western frontier was closed, in 1893 - soon after the first concrete street was paved, In Bellefontaine, Ohio - a new era began in travel writing. For just because the virgin land was vanishing...
Summer's Wealth All Year 'Round: The Florida Keys
In the Florida Keys, the wealth of summer so beloved by Virgil is on year-round display. From the southern tip of the Florida mainland, flung like a necklace onto an azure sea, the Keys stretch south and west to Key West for 127 miles. The 113-mile...
Ten Innovations That Made History: The Nuts-and-Bolts Perspective on How Cars Have Shaped Our Lives
Technology has an enormous influence on history, and automobiles are perhaps the most familiar example of this truism. Their influence didn't end with the invention of the gasoline engine or when the first Model T left the factory; every new development...
The Emperor's Pierce-Arrow: When American Cars Ruled the World
The current vogue for pushing to sell American automobiles abroad can certainly be called overdue. No one has seriously tried such a thing in generations. To make inroads on the number of Volkswagens in Mexico or of Austin Minis in France or on the...
The Longest Race
As of February 1908, only nine people has ever driven across the United States and no car had ever driven across Alaska. No car had driven across Japan. As for Siberia, which had yet to see its first automobile, there was only one man who had ever...
The Rose-Colored Windshield
During 1896 two Illinois boys who had set up a factory in Springfield, Massachusetts, built and sold thirteen auto mobiles (two seats and a two-cylinder six-horsepower engine with 138-cubic inch displacement. $1,500). Thus Charles and Frank Duryea...
What Makes a Marriage?
Rhetorical bombs were bursting last May, but the shock waves are just now being felt. The issue. "What is the civil definition of marriages" Faced with the possibility that Hawaii might be judicially ordered to legalize marriages between homosexual...