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American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 46, No. 6, October

Fighting Ghosts
Some years ago I traveled to Boston to meet for the first time the filmmaker Henry Hampton, who had just completed the magisterial "Eyes on the Prize" series for PBS. I knew from a mutual friend that he had contracted infantile paralysis in his youth,...
Lee's Last Stand
After a tornado passed through Petersburg, Virginia, in 1993, relief-agency posters around the city read: "The tornado did to Petersburg in about 22 seconds what the Union Army couldn't do in 10 months." At first glance this slogan seems a puzzler: What...
Postalization
The appearance of a new word in the language often signals to a historian that something was up at that moment and the public consciousness had changed. For instance, although scholars trace the birth of the modern world economy all the way back to the...
That Cover
A letter dated June 15, 1995, came to me clipped to an attachment: our July/August cover, scissored from the issue. It showed a somber O. J. Simpson in three-quarter profile behind a cover line - The, Jury on Trial - heralding Hiller B. Zobel's essay...
'That Hell-Hole of Yours.' (British Colonialism)
President Franklin D. Roosevelt did not look favorably on European colonialism. Like most Americans, he believed that the self-determination clause of the 1941 Atlantic Charter should apply to all peoples, not just Europeans. In the war's early years...
The Ancient History of the Internet
The Internet seems so now, so happening, so information age, that its Gen-X devotees might find the uncool circumstances of its birth hard to grasp. More than anything the computer network connecting tens of millions of users stands as a modern - albeit...
The Forgotten Triumph of the Paw Paw
In the late summer and autumn of 1864 two brothers, Norman and George Carr, aged twenty-two and twenty-four respectively, left their upstate New York home of Union Springs to join the United States Navy. The motives that sent them may have been complex....
The Heritage Traveler: A Chronological 'Map.' (US Historic sites)(Special Advertising Supplement)
How would you construct a chronological map of American history? Would you put your first "dot" in Puerto Rico, where Columbus initially set foot on what is now American territory? Or in Jamestown, Virginia, site of the first English settlement? For...
The Nullifiers
In these fading months of 1995, the political revolt against Washington is still in full cry - and in Washington itself. The congressional drive to return control of many federal regulatory and social welfare programs to the states continues strongly,...
The Old Days
He looked just as you always remembered him. There was that trim, dapper stance, the black hair sleek against the head, the signature black mustache. Unmistakably Thomas E. Dewey. The man who couldn't lose the 1948 presidential election and nonetheless...
The Salt and Pepper of Architecture
Its all around you, but you may never have noticed the work of America's greatest iron master. Now a new exhibition gives Samuel Yellin his due. Ornamental ironwork is an unobtrusive art; many of us go through life without being aware of it at all....
What Is Jazz?
When Wynton Marsalis burst into the public eye in the early 1980s it was as a virtuoso trumpet player. From the start he was an articulate talker too, but his bracing opinions were off-the-cuff and intuitive; his ideas, like his playing, needed seasoning....