American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 49, No. 6, October

Benet's Birthday
I can't think of another magazine that relies as heavily as this one does upon its readers to be its contributors as well. The "My Brush With History" feature is a vigorous adolescent now--thirteen years old, with a sunny future--and we've been publishing...
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Memphis
A gracious antebellum city of stern-wheelers and cotton money; a restless, violent city with a hot grain of genius at its heart; a city of calamity, desolation, and rebirth; a city that changed the way the whole world hears music. It's all the same city,...
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NATO's Nativity
It was born of a slew of compromises--which may be the secret of its survival in a vastly changed world Sometimes historical changes march onstage to the sound of trumpet fanfares. And sometimes they arrive with what seems remarkably little notice...
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The American Heritage 40: A Ranking of the Forty Wealthiest Americans of All Time
40 A ranking of the forty wealthiest Americans of all time (Surprise: Only three of them are alive today) 1 JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER 1839-1937 Oil $900 million (in 1913) Gross national product (GNP) divided by estimated net worth (ENW): 44 Today's...
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The Athlete of the Century
The numbers are pretty clear on who it is--but the numbers don't begin to suggest the dimensions of this story The fin-de-siecle, an arbitrary phenomenon created by calendars of our own construction, elicits some mighty peculiar behavior in that...
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The Case of the Vanishing Locomotive
The Transportation Revolution Of Nineteenth-century America, and the opening of its interior heartland; the advent of large corporate enterprise, and the growing power of the profit motive; the building of the earliest railway systems, and the arrival...
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The Time Machine
1873 One Hundred and Twenty-five Years Ago The Spanish-American War, Almost On October 31 the Spanish man-of-war Tornado, acting on a tip, sighted an American-registered freighter named Virginius off Morant Bay, Jamaica. It immediately...
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The Tragedy of the Commons
The fate of the codfish suggests that collectivism on the ownership level is as destructive as anywhere else If the twentieth century has taught us anything about economics, it is that free markets work better than any other kind. Heaven knows virtually...
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When the Laws Were Silent
In the wake of Pearl Harbor, tens of thousands of American citizens were taken from their homes and locked up simply because of their Japanese ancestry. Was their internment a grim necessity or "the worst blow to civil liberty in our history"? The Chief...
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Your Mission: Kill Hitler
The bright light in my eyes came from the flashlight of the wake-up man, Sgt. "Rosy" Roseborough, for the twenty-sixth time that spring of 1944. Rosy said, "It's two-thirty, Lieutenant. Time to rise and shine." This was his nice way of saying, "It's...
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