American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 54, No. 5, October

1753: Washington Becomes a Soldier
250 YEARS AGO ON OCTOBER 31 Robert Dinwiddie, royal lieutenant governor of Virginia, dispatched the 21-year-old George Washington into me wilds of the Ohio territory on a delicate diplomatic mission. The French had begun building forts in the Ohio...
A Town Forced to Earn Its Living by Its Wits from the Very Beginning-Most Spectacularly through the Work of Two Young Bicycle Mechanics-And Now Remaking Itself into a Colonial Williamsburg of the Industrial Age, This Year's Great American Place Is Dayton, Ohio
I settled into the chair in my dentist's office. Before the instruments came out, he asked me if I had any interesting travel coming up. Yes, I replied, I would soon be going to Dayton to visit the Wright brothers' historical sites. "Dayton?" he said....
Maryland: Authentic History in Abundance
Maryland is a masterpiece. Landscape and waterscape, painted by the brush strokes of history, it is rich in detail and contemporary in its appeal to the senses. On display every day, Maryland's tableaux of time are thoughtfully interpreted with an...
Rag Dolls
THE SWEETNESS AND HEAD-TO-TOE IMMACulateness of these two young ladies belie the effort behind the perfect image. Helen Cabrera, who sent us this 1945 picture of herself with her younger sister, reports on "how complicated it was to be cute," especially...
Salt and Fire
THIS WAS GOING TO BEGIN WITH A PLEA WHOSE tenor, if not its specifics, is all too familiar. It is the tone--hopeful, worried--that tells of the threatened Romanesque railroad station, the superb cast-iron building that stands in the way of the office...
Slang an Interview with J. E. Lighter by Hugh Rawson: It's the Poetry Every American Writes Every Day-A Centuries-Old Epic of Abuse, Taunt, Criminality, Love, and Bright, Mocking Beauty
THE BEST NEWS OF THE YEAR FOR WORD buffs, amateur etymologists, professional linguists, and all who respond to the incredible richness of the American language is that J. E. Lighter has found a home for his Historical Dictionary of American Slang....
Tell It to the Marines: A Proposal to Rename Guadalcanal's Airport Doesn't Fly
TIMES ARE TOUGH IN THE SOLOMON Islands. With few natural resources, the islands depend on tourism, but their remoteness, often antiquated facilities, and inhospitable environment can make them a tough sell. The government hopes its renovation and expansion...
The Buyable Past
AMERICAN CHILDREN HAVE played with marbles since the Civil War era, when most were manufactured in Germany. Around 1910 an American named Martin Christensen, who held the patent on the first machine for making ball bearings, got the domestic marble...
The Other Gregory Peck
WHEN GREGORY PECK DIED THIS PAST June, he was mourned and praised as the actor who created the archetypal father and husband figure, exemplified by his idealistic lawyer Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. But earlier in his career there was another...
The Wandering White House: A Miniature Replica of Unimaginable Fidelity Is Touring the Country
IN THIS HOMELAND SECURITY ERA, THERE MAY BE NO tougher ticket than a White House tour. The landmark is now available only for school and youth groups or veterans' and military organizations, and requests must be submitted through a member of Congress....
Travel America: Discovering a Diverse Landscape
America's destinations offer unparalleled diversity. In the land where freedom rings, the intrepid traveler may encounter true cowboys, reenactments of 18th-century skirmishes, artifacts that tell the legends of the past and wildlife that's almost...
Virginia Cradle of America
The centuries-old avenues of Virginia still echo with the voices of America's forefathers. The southernmost of the middle-Atlantic states, Virginia claims a past that is the beginning of America's history and heritage; it's where the nation originated,...
What History Means to Me
Four years ago American Heritage inaugurated an annual contest, established in partnership with the textbook publisher Prentice Hall, in which students wrote essays on the theme WHAT HISTORY MEANS TO ME. This year, more than 5,000 essays came in...
"You Press the Button We Do the Rest": What Digital Camera Makers Can Learn from George Eastman
IT IS AN AXIOM THAT ONE TECHNOLogy replaces another only because the new technology is better or cheaper, or both. A century ago the automobile, despite its high cost, replaced the horse and buggy in a matter of two decades because even the primitive...