American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 55, No. 2, April-May

1954 Separate and Unequal
50 YEARS AGO ON MAY 17 THE U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The plaintiff, Oliver Brown, had been denied the right to send his daughter to the public school nearest her home. Instead she had to...
America on the Hudson: The Town That Has Seen It All
ALL THOSE THOUSANDS OF LEAGUES OUTWARD BOUND FROM Amsterdam, and now they reached land, land bisected by a vast channel doubtless connecting Atlantic to Pacific and fabled China. The captain had looked for that route even through Arctic ice floes....
Camino Real: Seeking the Soul of America'a First Superhighway
I SCRAMBLE GLEEFULLY UP A CONCRETE INCLINE six feet above the cobblestone road, but Hal Jackson saunters. We stand in the ruins of what was once a large house 20 minutes outside Zacatecas, Mexico. The air is cool. Scrubby mountains pocked with old...
China Town: What You Find When You Visit the Place That Set America's Table
IN A CRAMPED BUT TIDY MUSEUM WITHIN the Homer Laughlin pottery factory, in Newell, West Virginia, I stood before a small case displaying an object that all but took my breath away. There, under a steady but flattering light, was the 500 millionth piece...
History Lives in the American South East
This spring, take a journey through the history of America's Southeast. Against a backdrop of rugged natural beauty, you'll encounter diverse cultural landmarks that have shaped this nation. Across these states, you'll hear stories about spies and...
Maryland: Home to History
after spending just a few moments in Maryland, visitors will realize that, indeed, history happened here. Maryland is bursting with centuries of American history. Here in this land that Captain John Smith deemed, "Heaven and earth never agreed better...
New York State: A Haven for History
New York State, a land of breathtaking landscapes with rolling hills, sparkling lakes and geological wonders, is a haven for history lovers. Here, you'll find renowned and inspirational works of art and photography. You'll encounter Colonial architecture,...
Passion
"TWENTY YEARS FROM NOW YOU WILL BE more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the ones you did do," Mark Twain once instructed his readers. "So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore....
Popular Culture
With American Heritage approaching its fiftieth birthday in December 2004, we've asked five prominent historians and cultural commentators to each pick 10 leading developments in American life during the last half-century. In this issue Allen Barra,...
Still a Great Hall after All: A Student of the Speech That Changed Lincoln's Career Visits the Place Where He Gave It
THE FIRST TIME I EVER VISITED THE GREAT HALL OF New York City's Cooper Union, I was not yet a teenager, but I was already mad to learn everything I could about the most famous man who ever appeared there. Abraham Lincoln's 1860 Cooper Union address--his...
Still Faithful: The Sprawling Inn That Is the Heart and Soul of Yellowstone National Park Has Just Achieved Its Hundredth Birthday-Thanks in Large Part to a Few Dedicated Employees and Specialists Determined to Keep It Safe
ON SEPTEMBER 7, 1988, THE AREA AROUND OLD Faithful in Yellowstone National Park looked like Hell. The North Fork Fire, which had been burning since July and would ultimately torch a half-million acres, had arrived at the park's most famous landmark....
The Buyable Past
THE HISTORY OF CARDS CONTAINS ITS SHARE of controversy. A Swiss edict prohibiting them antedates the oldest surviving European examples, which were made during the fifteenth century. American decks began appearing after the Revolution and during the...
The Self-Made Founder: Alexander Hamilton Conceived an America That Encouraged Huge Successes like His Own
THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY WAS AN aristocratic age, even in relatively egalitarian America. The elite were the major landowners in the plantation colonies, such as Thomas Jefferson, and the great merchants in port cities, such as John Hancock. Therefore...
The Shriek Heard Round the World: When Does a Single Gaffe Sink a Campaign?
PROBABLY EVERY AMERICAN with access to a television, a radio, or a computer has heard the notorious howl with which Howard Dean ended his concession speech after the Democratic caucuses in Iowa. Dr. Dean's weird outburst was immediately labeled a gaffe,...