American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 48, No. 8, December

A Bang or a Whimper?
J.P. Morgan did not have much use for either the stock market or reporters. 80 when one reporter importunately asked him what the market was going to do one day, he replied, with about equal parts contempt and truth, "It will fluctuate." Until...
Aimee and Coue Improve Your Life
The first week of 1923 saw two key milestones in America's Roaring Twenties obsession with mental and spiritual matters. On January 1, in Los Angeles, Aimee Semple McPherson opened the 5,300-seat Angelus Temple, home base for her Church of the Four...
A Spanish Colonial Christmas
Traditions nearly five hundred years old underlie San Antonio's month-long celebration I know I get sentimental about the holiday for which I was named, but I could have sworn that the stuffed "Pancho Claus" on a balcony above San Antonio's lovely...
Chasing Smut in Every Medium
Whenever a new information technology has been born, there's been somebody on hand to try to censor it Once again the voice of the censor is heard in the land, and so are the contesting arguments of the civil libertarian, the artist, and the businessman...
Confessions of a British Invader
He was in the vanguard of that wave of young Britons who, in the 1960s, stormed our shores and gave us back our musical heritage I always used music. Pop songs were my escape chute from the austerity of postwar Britain, a drab and flaccid land where...
Final Service
When I was a licensed "ramp rat" at the Pacific Airmotive Company in Burbank, California, during the thirties, a parade of American flying legends brought their equally famous airplanes to us for servicing and maintenance. As one of the two at PAC...
Lincoln and Thoreau Get Pious
On January 12, 1848, Rep. Abraham Lincoln of Illinois made his first major address to the House of Representatives. His subject was the war with Mexico, which was winding to a close. Lincoln had endorsed the war as a candidate in 1846, but now he...
Out of Africa!
On December 1, in what is now Monrovia, Liberia, three dozen former American slaves desperately fought off an armed assault by a thousand native-born Africans determined to reclaim their land. The freemen had been brought to Liberia by the American...
Texas Testament
A lifetime ago a quiet stranger passed through the author's hometown and came away with a record of both personal and national importance For half a century the pictures had been popping up occasionally in books or magazines--razor-sharp black-and-white...
The Kinsey Report
On January 5, 1948, Alfred Kinsey's Sexual Behavior in the American Male was published, much to the delight of voyeurs, sociologists, and joke writers. The book had impeccable scholarly credentials: Its author was an Indiana University biologist and...
The Tragedy of Bridget Such-a-One
The TRAGEDY OF BRIDGET SUCH-A-ONE WALKING THROUGH THE WOODS OUTSIDE Concord, Massachusetts, in the spring of 1846, amid his solitary experiment in living close to nature, Henry David Thoreau was driven by a sudden storm to find shelter in what...
The Undying Problem of the Death Penalty
Can it be fair? Humane? Deter crime? These very current questions troubled Americans just as much in the clay of the Salem witch trials as in the say of Timothy McVeigh Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court...
Why These Three Men Are Part of Your Soul
"Of late the American character has received marked and not altogether flattering attention from American critics." The comment, from the opening page of Constance Rourke's great, unjustly ignored book American Humor, bears one of her trademarks,...