American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 44, No. 8, December

Build-Down
After every war in the nation's history, the military has faced not only calls for demobilization but new challenges and new opportunities. It is happening again. Not many people appreciate a military base closing. Like the shutting of a factory,...
He Mastered Old Man River
"Ten thousand River Commissions," wrote Mark Twain, "cannot tame that lawless stream." But James Eads came close. The Mississippi is in flood again as I write. The waters will have subsided by the time these words are printed, but the cleanup and...
"Hope Is Not a Method." (General Gordon Sullivan) (Interview)
It is dawn in Washington as Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, the Chief of Staff of the United States Army, walks quickly from his helicopter at Andrews Air Force Base to board the jet bound for Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Waiting for him there is a classroom full...
How a Two-Dollar Watch Saved the World
In 1959 I was a captain in the U.S. Air Force, a pilot in the Strategic Air Command (SAC), flying B-47s out of Pease Air Force Base in New Hampshire. The late 1950s were the height of the Cold War, and some airplanes, loaded with nuclear weapons,...
Libbie Custer
She spent almost sixty years commemorating her marriage - and her memories of it quite literally kept her alive My husband rode to the top of a promontory and turned around, stood up in his stirrups and waved his hat. Then they all started forward...
Lost Trails
Tableau de Contents "Portaging the Kaibosh With Dynamite and Song" - Quarto XIV of Colonel Hardback's Narrative "How the Indians Tell an Earth Quake" by "Ticonderoga" And, President Roosevelt's Message on Water Shoes How the Gypsum Trust Spared...
On the Bayou
Behind the Cajuns' joie de vivre, lies a strong-willed independence and a tumultuous past Fred's Lounge is a small place with a plain red-brick facade on the main street in Mamou, Louisiana. When I was there, late last December, Fred's was packed....
The Freedman's Bank
It was a banking system. The act that made it possible slipped through Congress with hardly any debate and little attention to economic reality. Many of its highest-ranking officials knew little or nothing about the peculiar nature of the banking business....
The Great Coronation War
In the infancy of television (but not of American royalty-worship) the networks fought their first all-out battle for supremacy over who would get to show Queen Elizabeth II being crowned When American television was very young, but American royalty-worship...
The School/business Connection: Preparing America's Students for the Workplace
Education reformers are calling for a seamless school-to-work transition for the 75% of American students who do not attend or graduate from four-year colleges.(*) This means rethinking vocational education. No longer a place to wait out high school...
The Winter Art Show
* It's been nine years now since our first Winter Art Show, and the editors feel that this one is as eloquent as any of its predecessors about the tenor of American life. As before, we drew its components from broadcast sources: the woodcarving at...