American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 54, No. 2, May

1928: What's on Tonight? (Time Machine April/May)
75 YEARS AGO ON MAY 11 RADIO station WGY, in Schenectady, New York, began America's first regularly scheduled television broadcasts. The programs lasted from 1:30 to 2:00 P.M. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Most of the viewers were on the...
A Lone Star Anthology: Half a Millennium of Texas History, Spoken by the People Who Lived It
"They are a merry race, considering the hunger they suffer.... To them the happiest part of the year is the season of eating prickly pears; they have hunger then no longer, pass all the time in dancing and eating, day and night." --ALVAR NUNEZ CABEZA...
"An Hour of Pretty Music": Walter Lord's Other Life. (History Now)
WHEN WALTER LORD DIED LAST May, the newspapers saluted his huge influence as a historian: all those books that vividly reconstructed events like the fall of the Alamo (A Time to Stand), the bombing of Pearl Harbor (Day of Infamy), and the sinking of...
Bismarck: The Heart of the Lewis & Clark Trail. (Special Advertising Section)
TWO HUNDRED YEARS AGO, THE REGION NOW OCCUPIED BY THE TWIN CITIES OF BISMARCK AND MANDAN, NORTH DAKOTA, STRADDLED THE BOUNDARY BETWEEN THE KNOWN WORLD AND THE UNCHARTED WILDS OF WESTERN NORTH AMERICA. EVEN BEFORE THOMAS JEFFERSON'S PURCHASE OF THE...
Blood Evidence. (Readers' Album)
HERE ARE THE LACEY TWINS SHARING A CHAIR. Lucy is at the left and Libby at the right. The stains along the picture's edges are made not by age but by blood. As R. Scott Jacob of Philadelphia explains it, "When I was a child, my grandmother told me...
Comparing Notes with Lewis and Clark: A Present-Day Adventurer Canoes the Upper Missouri to Find That Time and Fortune Have Erased Signs of Its Later History, Restoring the Wilderness the Corps of Discovery Penetrated Nearly 200 Years Ago
HISTORY UNSPOOLS LIKE FILM ROLLING SLOWLY BACKWARD IN the Missouri Breaks, a 149-mile corridor of stark cliffs and tawny bluffs along the Upper Missouri River in central Montana. On the eve and Clark Expedition's bicentennial, this is the last undeveloped...
Empire of the Winds: In the Aleutian Islands You Can Explore a Landscape of Violent Beauty, Discover the Traces of an All-but-Forgotten War, and (Just Possibly) Catch a $100,000 Fish
ONE SUMMER 30 YEARS AGO I FOUND MYSELF on a DC-3 bound for Unalaska, my string bass strapped into the seat next to me. I anchored the rhythm section of a high school band in Anchorage, and we were going to show students in this remote village on the...
Enlarging America. (Letter from the Editors)
IN THE SPRING OF 1990 I TRAVELED UP THE Columbia River aboard a small vessel named Sea Lion on a trip the cruise company titled "In the Wake of Lewis and Clark." Along the way, probably in a local museum, I noticed a sign bearing a logo featuring the...
Forgotten Fury: A Long-Ago Calamity May Shed Light on a Current Impasse. (the Business of America)
CLIO, THE MUSE OF HISTORY, CAN be quite fickle in bestowing her favors. Consider Aldous Huxley. It seems that nearly everyone who has ever been 14 years old has read his most famous novel, Brave New World. It has been in print for 70 years, and dozens...
Harry Truman and the Price of Victory: New Light on the President's Biggest Decision. (History Now)
WHAT DID PRESIDENT HARRY S. TRUMAN and his senior advisers believe an invasion of Japan would cost in American dead? In recent years this has been a matter of heated historical controversy, with Truman's critics maintaining that the huge casualty estimates...
"Horse Swapping". (Why Do We Say That?)
ONE OF THE MOST COMMON AMERICAN PROVERBS, "Never swap horses in midstream," is indelibly associated with Abraham Lincoln. The observation is a distillation of more extended remarks that Lincoln made on June 9, 1864, to a delegation from the National...
Mafia Souvenirs: From Connected to Collected. (History Now)
IT WAS THE MOB'S BIGGEST mistake: a full-scale powwow in a podunk hideaway that blew the cover off their secret society. The 1957 fiasco held the racketeers up to ridicule and touched off a long-term decline in the power of organized crime. It also...
Making the Connection: Community Improvement through Academic Achievement. (Special Advertising Section)
The State Farm Insurance Companies have long been recognized as leaders in the insurance and financial services market. Increasingly, State Farm is also building a name as a leading community partner and a strong advocate for education. State Farm...
New York: An Empire for All. (Special Advertising Section)
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free ..." And while you're at it, you also can send your history buffs, nature lovers, art enthusiasts, adventure seekers, bikers, hikers, fishermen ... and their families. With its...
On Exhibit. (History Now)
CELTIC CAVALRY FOUGHT AGAINST Caesar's invasion of the British Isles in 55 B.C., and cavalry helped carry the day for William the Conqueror at Hastings in 1066. But those are recent events in light of the earliest artifact to be shown at All the Queen's...
On Location: A Filmography of Wide-Open Spaces
BETWEEN 1910 AND 1911, TEXAS was almost as busy a film site as Hollywood--nearly 80 two-reelers, mostly Westerns, were shot there, almost all of them in the San Antonio area. Before World War I, the film industry flourished until someone discovered...
Reinventing a River: Its Waters Drove Our First Industrial Revolution-And Were Poisoned by It. Thoreau Believed the Merrimack Might Not Run Pure Again for Thousands of Years, but Today It Is a Welcoming Pathway through a Hundred-Mile-Long Red-Brick Museum of America's Rise to Power
MATTERS DID NOT LOOK PROMISING. THE PATH down to the canoe launch onto the Merrimack River was long and steep, thick with roots and brambles and sharply angled. Pushing, pulling, and grunting, we reached a scum-slicked spit of sand just below a wide...
Riding the Currents of History in Maryland. (Special Advertising Section)
To travel Maryland is to embark on an odyssey through tall ships and oyster boats, battlefields and troop movements, majestic plantations and hidden escape routes, and to keep company with pioneers, mariners, soldiers and freedom fighters. Here, visitors...
Texas Trails: How Do You Get to the Heart of a State as Big as a Nation? It's Easy-If You Pick the Right Road
THE SUN HAS RIZ, THE SUN HAS set, and here we iz in Texas yet." I was just a kid when I first saw that old saying in the form of a hand-scrawled message on a "Texas Brags" postcard. The cards were gag gifts that reflected both Texans' tendency to exaggerate...
The Coolest Guy ... and the Sad Truth about How He Got His Car. (My Brush with History)
IT WAS THE LATE SPRING OF 1959, and my mother had just finished sewing nametags on all my clothes. That was great. It meant I was going to camp. Like most 13-year-old boys, I was impressionable, given to aspirational yearnings, and perhaps more trusting...
The Loudmouth: When a 17-Year-Old Almost Learned the Century's Biggest Secret. (My Brush with History)
I WAS 17 YEARS OLD IN THE EARLY 1940s, a graduate of Theodore Roosevelt High School in Chicago, when the University of Chicago accepted my application. Roosevelt, on the north side of the city, was highly structured with definite rules and regulations,...
The Many Lives of Philip Marlowe. (Screenings)
NO AMERICAN WRITER INFLUENCED SO much with so little work as Raymond Chandler. His major contribution consists of a handful of novels and story collections (all reprinted last summer by Vintage Crime and available in two handsome volumes from the Library...
Travelers' Traditions: A Selective Guide to the State's Historic Hotels and Restaurants
TEXANS ARE NOTORIOUS FOR loving the biggest, newest, and shiniest of everything, from skyscrapers and football arenas to hairstyles and horse trailers. So it may be something of a surprise to find that they also possess a passion for historic places,...
Watching `the Outlaw': Free Passes to a Movie Milestone. (My Brush with History)
ONE OF THE BENEFITS of having a grandfather who was a former mayor of Boston, John F. ("Honey Fitz") Fitzgerald, was that he had free passes to interesting events. Just by paying the tax on a baseball ticket, I could get into a Red Sox or a Braves...
West Virginia: A Stellar Year for Celebration and Exploration. (Special Advertising Section)
New and fascinating experiences are as easy to gather in West Virginia as -water from its sparkling waterfalls, lakes and mountain streams. The state's collection of contrasts satisfies travelers who seek natural and manmade wonders, excursions into...
What Trent Meant ... and the Real Secret in Strom Thubmond's Past. (in the News)
IT'S NOT AN EASY THING TO BE a politician. One never knows when the media will suddenly pick up an offhand remark--the same sort of thing that one has said for years, really--and suddenly focus withering, national attention on it. No wonder most politicians...
Where Berlin and America Meet: Our Common History Isn't All Pleasant, but Seeing It Firsthand Is Deeply Moving
BERLIN'S HISTORY INTERSECTS WITH AMERICA'S at many points, and tourists who seek these intersections will arrive at the first of them sooner than they expect. Americans who came of age soaking up reruns of Twelve O'Clock High, The World at War, and...
Wyoming Celebrates the National Historic Trails: That Heroic Time of the Great American Covered-Wagon Migration between the Wide Missouri and the Pacific Coast Comes to Life in the Newly Opened National Historic Trails Interpretive Center in Casper, Wyoming. (Special Advertising Section)
Built virtually in the ruts of the Oregon, California, Mormon Pioneer and Pony Express National Historic Trails, this 27,000-square-foot, multimillion-dollar facility is dedicated to the emigrants who traveled westward in search of new lives, new land,...