American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 57, No. 2, April-May

1831: That Eaton Woman
ON APRIL 7 PRESIDENT Andrew Jackson accepted the resignation of his Secretary of War, John Eaton. Four days later he did the same with his Secretary of State, Martin Van Buren. By the end of the month all but one of Jackson's cabinet members had resigned....
American Pie: How a Neapolitan Street Food Became the Most Successful Immigrant of All
ALMOST EVERY AMERICAN FOOD--FROM EGG FOO YUNG TO empanadas--is covered in the phone book under the generic heading "Restaurants." Only pizza stands alone. Pizza, a Johnny-come-lately compared with such long-standing national favorites as the hamburger...
A Pinch of Arsenic
THIS IS THE TWENTIETH ISSUE OF AMERICAN Heritage that we have given over to travel. In April 1987, when we put together the first one, we were confident that our readers would enjoy exploring the way the past has shaped all the appealing places we...
City Life
MILWAUKEE'S PEOPLE RETAIN a warm respect for their community's roots. There is much to celebrate here, and the citizens often do just that. You can see this impulse in the crowds attracted to the much-heralded ethnic expositions at the Lake Michigan...
Franklin's Last Home: Of the Many Houses Benjamin Franklin Lived in over His Eight Decades, Only One Survives. It Has Been Restored Just in Time for His 300th Birthday, but You'll Have to Go to London to Visit It
AS ANNE KEIGHER, AN ARCHITECT deeply involved with the London house Benjamin Franklin called home for almost 16 years, shows me around it, she points out a supporting pillar in the basement. "This original pier needed new concrete footing poured beneath...
G.I
GEN. DOUGLAS MACARTHUR'S SURGEON, Col. Roger O. Egeberg, stepped on a semantic land mine when he casually referred to MacArthur's troops as G.I.s. The general immediately exploded: "Don't ever do that in my presence.... G.I. means 'general issue.'...
Larry McMurtry: Writing Westerns from Hud to Brokeback Mountain
The recent success of Brokeback Mountain--at the box office, with critics, and in numerous awards presentations--has put before the public an American West very different from that of the traditional Western. It comes as no surprise that the screenplay...
Moving On: Thoughts on Travel from Jefferson to the Grateful Dead
IN 1997 PENGUIN BOOKS PUBLISHED THE AMERICAN Heritage Dictionary of American Quotations. Assembled by Margaret Miner and Hugh Rawson (who writes our "Why Do We Say ...?" column), it immediately proved an invaluable resource to the editors here and,...
My Backyard: ... Was a Lot Bigger Than Yours, Here's Why You Should Care
IT HAS BEEN THE RECEIVED WISDOM of the suburban age that kids grow up better in the country, where there is access to fresh air, trees, wildlife (although not too much of it, please), and other good things. Well, I grew up in one of the densest...
My Milwaukee: The City of His Birth Sent Richard Schickel off on a Lifelong Career. Here's What the Film Critic and Historian Discovered When That Job Brought Him Back Home
IT IS A SUNDAY EVENING IN LATE November. I'm standing in front of the screen at the Times Cinema in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, about to introduce a film I made, a biographical documentary about Charlie Chaplin. It is one of the closing night attractions...
Quezal Glass: The Buyable Past
WHILE TIFFANY AND Steuben are the most recognizable stars in the iridescent art-glass galaxy, Quezal gleams right alongside them. The firm's guiding force, Martin Bach, joined Louis Comfort Tiffany's staff as a glass chemist in 1892, the year before...
San Francisco Then and Now: On the 100th Anniversary of the 1906 Calamity, a Student of Earthquakes Seeks Its Traces in the City He Loves Most
THE SCALE OF THE DISASTER IS HARD TO COMPREHEND. A government report listed 28,188 buildings destroyed. The official number of dead or missing was 674, though a reassessment years later put it closer to 3,000. People had fled in so many directions...
The Future of New Orleans: Can the Disasters That Befell Other Cities Help Save This One?
WHEN HURRICANE KATRINA battered down the levees that protected our most fabled big city last September, many of us familiar with America's "can do" traditions figured it would be a matter of weeks, maybe even days, before the Crescent City was at least...
There Are Plenty of Ways to Celebrate Franklin's 300th: A Schedule of Events, Here and Abroad, Marking the Birthday of the Publisher, Printer, Writer, Philosopher, Scientist, Inventor, Statesman, Humorist, and Pre-Eminent American
* Through April 30: Some 40 Philadelphia hotels are offering the Ben's Birthday Hotel Package, which includes one or two hotel nights, two tickets to the "Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World" exhibition (see below), and the "Little Book...