American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 51, No. 4, July

A Man of the Century
HIS FIRST MEMORY was of a green lampshade in his father's study. His second was of fury and frustration. His mother, father, and older brother, Win, were going up from the Stanford University campus, where he'd been born, to San Francisco, where the...
Charleston South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina, is a treasure chest, brimming with riches that enchant 3 million visitors every year. Rich in history, sparkling seaside scenery and colorful celebrations, this gracious city is a top travel destination. Charleston welcomes...
Glove Story
BASEBALL WAS PLAYED FOR THIRTY YEARS BEFORE ANYONE THOUGHT ABOUT FINDING A WAY TO PROTECT PLAYER'S FINGERS When the St. Louis Brown Stockings, of the National Association, began their 1875 season, the roster was studded with current and future stars....
How America Met the Mob
Organized crime? Mafia? A lot of people, including J. Edgar Hoover, said it was mere folklore--until one day in 1957 an alert New York state trooper set up a roadblock in a small town. What followed was low comedy with high consequences. The day...
Miracle Drug
In 1943 I was a second-year medical student in Kansas City, enrolled in an accelerated program designed to finish the four-year course in three years. We had little or no time for recreation, but, thanks to a scheduling quirk, those in my section of...
On the Scene at the Crime of the Century
IT WAS MARCH 1, 1932, A BALMY day in Princeton, New Jersey. I was seventeen, a high school student preparing to enter the university, where my father was a professor of military science and tactics. The telephone rang, and it was an administrator...
Presidential Spinach
Naturally I was excited at the prospect at having lunch at the White House with the President of the United States. Very few eleven-year-olds get to do that. I told my friends at Pelham Day School in New York, and they wanted to hear all about it when...
Rare Mileage
Two unique trains provide the chance to relax into the luxury that travel by rail once promised I WAS SITTING IN A CLUB CAR RESCUED FROM America's greatest passenger train, the Twentieth Century Limited, when I first heard the phrase cruise train....
Sewing and Reaping a Fortune
A 150-year-old invention keeps on remaking the world AS THE STOCK MARKET HAS BOUNCED UP AND DOWN THIS YEAR, there has been much talk about the Old Economy and the New Economy. But the Old Economy, however temporarily unfashionable it may be on Wall...
Since When Can You Patent a Gene?
And why is it not really so different from patenting anything else? BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS, THE RACE TO DECODE THE ENTIRE human genome--transcribing the DNA that makes us what we are--will be over. The race has been a two-way contest between...
That Flag
Symbol of a brave past or banner of treason? And is there perhaps another Southern standard to be raised? "MY ANCESTORS FOUGHT FOR THE QUESTION OF WHO WAS SUPREME, the federal or the state government. They felt South Carolina freely went into the...
The Beach Boy
How Southern California capitalism and one mysterious loner met, courted, married, and gave birth to our modern surfing culture I WAS HURRYING DOWN AN ENDLESS CORRIDOR IN SAN Francisco's international airport, in a swirl of shapeless people and...
The Conventional Wisdom Why It's Wrong
When the two parties gather to select their candidates, the proceedings will be empty glitz, with none of the import of old-time conventions. Or will they? AT SOME POINT IN THIS ELECTION-YEAR summer, as thousands of politicians, delegates, and journalists...
The Perils of Immortality
For centuries the Newport rich have been commissioning portraits of themselves--and sometimes getting a surprise when they see the results ON A CLEMENT AUGUST EVENING IN 1902, MRS. CORNELIUS Vanderbilt III stood on the lawn of her Newport, Rhode...
The Time Machine
July/August 1925 Seventy-five Years Ago Bryan Defeats Darrow On July 10, in Dayton, Tennessee, the trial of John T. Scopes got under way. Scopes was a high school teacher who had told his students about the theory of evolution. That violated...
They Brought the Jubilee
HOW A SMALL GROUP OF FORMER SLAVES TAUGHT THE WORLD ABOUT BLACK MUSIC, THE PROMISE OF EMANCIPATION, AND THE MEANING OF THE CIVIL WAR IN THE LATE 1860S BLACK STUDENTS excavating the grounds of a Nashville freedmen's school called Fisk University...
Turkey Land of Natural Wonders
Mention Turkey and a flood of historic images comes to mind: the Turkey of Alexander the Great, the Roman Emperor Constantine and the Ottoman Empire's magnificent Topkapi Palace. Yet its renown as a center of world history often overshadows the wonders...
Wealth & Power
Many people succeed in commanding the spotlight during their own lifetimes. Yet how is it that only a handful endure, often across many centuries, as icons of their age? The answer lies not simply in their wealth, brilliance or ability to command...