American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 49, No. 3, May-June

A Blow for Open Housing
On May 3, in the cases of Shelley v. Kraemer and Hurd v. Hodge, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial covenants in real estate deeds were not legally enforceable. Such covenants--which usually prevented homeowners from selling their houses to non-whites--were...
Annals of Prohibition
On May 4 New York State's legislature repealed the Mullan-Gage Act, which had incorporated the provisions of Prohibition into state law. Legally, repealing the act meant little; the Eighteenth Amendment to the federal Constitution still outlawed the...
As the Shah Fell
I was eleven, and my family had been living in Iran for more than three years while my father was attached to the American Embassy in Tehran. In its Middle Eastern way, both lazy and exuberant, Tehran had been good to me. But that was about to change....
Bewitched
On June 15 Margaret Jones of Charlestown became the first person in Massachusetts to be executed for witchcraft. She was New England's second such victim; the first had been Alse (or Alice) Young of Windsor, Connecticut, hanged on May 26,1647. Little...
Cargo
In the spring of 1931 I was a member of a "couples' club" in Syracuse, New York, composed of both married and single men and women. I was one of the unmarried--the youngest of all at twenty-six. We got together every other Sunday evening to discuss...
Don't You Know There's a War On?
After America declared war on Spain in late April, heroic acts filled the newspapers almost daily. There was Dewey's destruction of the Spanish fleet at Manila; Schley's victory at Santiago; Hobson's valiant scuttling of the Merrimack; and of course...
History Abroad: A Great Ship of Today Seeks to Evoke the Golden Liners of Memory
A great ship of today seeks to evoke the golden liners of memory I wonder how long it generally takes to turn a ship's passenger into a passionate fan of ocean liners past. For me it happened in the five days of a crossing from New York to Southampton...
Investing for Retirement: Save Today for a Secure Tomorrow
A LONG WITH BASEBALL and Mom's apple pie, a financially secure retirement once seemed the bedrock of American life. Whether employees saved or spent their salaries, they could count on Social Security and company pensions to support them in the future....
Key Performer
To movie romantics, Key Largo will forever call up images of Bogart and the young Bacall marooned in a hurricane-tossed hotel. To the diving set, the area is nothing less than a world-class assemblage of reefs and wrecks. And to fans of the Beach Boys,...
Miracle of the Birds
For Utah's Mormon pioneers the spring of 1848 brimmed with promise. They had been arriving since the previous July, hoping in that harsh and remote land to finally escape persecution. Their trip through the desert had been arduous, and the ensuing...
Overrated and Underrated
Is Robert E. Lee getting a free ride? Is it time someone spoke up for Richard Nixon? And does anyone have the lonely courage to say that most barbecue is greasy filth? There are exaggerated reputations in every field of American history--and overlooked...
The Airlift Begins
On June 24 the Soviet Union imposed a unilateral blockade of the city of Berlin, cutting off all land access from outside the Soviet zone of occupation. The pretext was a currency reform that had just been imposed by the other three occupying powers--Britain,...
The American Spirit
BOURBON whiskey has had a long, rugged ride from the frontier to the top shelf AFTER TWO HUNDRED YEARS BOURBON WHISKEY APPEARS to be coming into its own. It is one of America's unique cultural contributions to the world, our native equivalent...
The Antitrust Monster
In theory it works fine; inpractice it has often made situations much worse Like Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare or' Elm Street movies, antitrust keeps coming back. The latest company to find itself in the sights of the Antitrust Division of the...
The Man in the Middle
On Israel's fiftieth anniversary, we should remember the role a black American played in its creation He was an African-American with no previous experience or special interest in Palestine. He evinced no special warmth for either Zionist or pan-Arab...
The Meaning of '98
OUR WAR WITH SPAIN MARKED THE FIRST YEAR OF THE AMERICAN CENTURY ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO, IN APRIL 1898, THE American Century suddenly began. "Suddenly" because what happened then--the declaration of war against Spain--led to a rapid crystallization...
The Moment of the Century
Not so very long ago the whole embattled world waited for one man to say three words June 6, 1944, was the pivot of the twentieth century. What had gone before that day led up to the invasion of France, and what followed was the consequence. At stake...
The Myth Behind the Streetcar Revival
LIGHT RAIL WAS AN ATTRACTIVE, ECONOMICAL, and environmentally sound technology--until the auto companies crushed it. That, at any rate, is what a lot of people believe, and now the nation is spending billions to re-create an imaginary past. IN A...
The Tallest Building
On May 3 the city of Chicago, birthplace of the skyscraper, regained a measure of civic pride when the Sears Tower topped out at 1,454 feet to become the world's tallest building--104 feet higher than New York City's World Trade Center. Gordon Metcalf,...
Wisconsin Joins the Club
On May 29 Wisconsin entered the Union as the thirtieth state. It was the fifth and final state to be formed from the Old Northwest, and its admission closed the book (except for a slice of present-day Minnesota) on the territory ceded from Britain...