American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 52, No. 1, February

1851
THE FUGITIVE 150 YEARS AGO ON FEBRUARY 15, IN Boston, a black coffee-house waiter named Shadrach Minkins was seized by federal marshals at the behest of John DeBree of Norfolk, Virginia, who claimed him as his property. The waiter, also known...
A Lincoln Face-Lift
BEHIND THE FIVE-DOLLAR MAKEOVER ANALYZING THE NEW, DISCONCERTINGLY OFF-KILTER FIVE-DOLLAR bill last summer, a New York plastic surgeon somehow convinced Newsweek that the government had merely given Lincoln a face-lift to modernize the old portrait....
An Afternoon with the Shadow
A FRONT-ROW SEAT -- AND MORE -- AT A CLASSIC RADIO DRAMA ONE OF THE OUTSTANDING AFTERNOONS of my childhood 60-some years ago was spent watching a broadcast of The Shadow. I got there at the invitation of a neighbor I'll call Fred. Fred was just...
Ancient City
ST. AUGUSTINE, SETTLED IN 1565, FLAUNTS ITS SPANISH ORIGINS IN MID-DECEMBER OF 1999, a grand hotel in St. Augustine, Florida, opened its doors for the first time since 1932. It was originally called the Casa Monica; then, with an early change of...
A War against History
IT'S THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GULF WAR. AMERICA CERTAINLY DIDN'T LOSE, BUT WHAT ELSE DO WE KNOW ABOUT IT? JUST BEFORE DAWN ON AUGUST 2, 1990, a war of a sort began in the Middle East. An Iraqi army of 100,000 troops crossed the frontier of Kuwait...
Calendar Clocks
Starting around 1865, clocks told not only the time but the day, the date, and even the month. The calendar clock had been a mechanical possibility for centuries, but in America after the Civil War, it took hold, and inventors peppered the Patent Office...
Children of Monticello
In Virginia, a quarrel is going on about who can be allowed to lie in a family graveyard. Because the family is Thomas Jefferson's, the outcome of the dispute is important to every American. ALL GRAVEYARDS ARE SACRED GROUND, THE ONE AT MONTICELLO...
Correspondence
PATENT FAILURE I enjoyed the article in the November 2000 issue on the creation of Atanasoff and Berry's ABC computer ("My Brush With History: Holding the Baby") but was disappointed in one regard. As a graduate student in the early 1980s, I had...
Eating the Past
IT'S AMERICA'S LATEST CULINARY SENSATION: HARDTACK AND GROG FEW THINGS ARE MORE EVOCATIVE OF THE PAST than bad food. As proof, consider the London restaurant School Dinners, which for 20 years has drawn hordes of enthusiastic customers (including...
Flipping the Meat Train
One of the last veterans of a dangerous violent, exhilarating way of life tells of a youth spent on the Road. I PICKED UP MY FIRST CLUE AT A COCKTAIL reception. Over my shoulder, hearing an enthusiastic discussion, I realized that I was eavesdropping...
From Bad Guys to Bold Explorers
Arizona is rich with history and culture to be explored Spin a few yarns with a weatherworn old-timer or take a tour through a shrine to modern technology, and it's easy to understand the vast hold that both history and innovation have on the Arizona...
Getting a Life
WHAT'S AN EX-PRESIDENT TO DO? EDWARD HEATH, Britain's prime minister from 1970 to 1974, recently announced that he intended to retire from the House of Commons after serving there for more than 50 years, half of them after he was prime minister....
G.I. Jfk
A MERE NAVY LIEUTENANT (JG) JOINS SOME ACTION-FIGURE GENERALS BOTH THE ARMY AND NAVY REJECTED HIM ON HEALTH grounds in 1940. When he finally won over the Navy, three months before Pearl Harbor, he had to beg to escape routine desk jobs and land...
How It Got That Way and Why We're Stuck with It
THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE It was never designed to actually elect a President. It's awkward, cumbersome, and confusing, and almost no one likes it. Americans have been trying to get rid of it for more than two centuries. Yet it's still here. Now we...
Our Armageddon
THROUGH AN APOCALYPSE WITH TENT, SLEEPING BAGS, AND CAMERA ON MAY 18, 1980, my wife Ciel and I were camped at Hampton Lakes, in the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge in central Washington. It was Ciel's first true camping trip ever. We had tried...
Railroad Country
BACK IN THE MID-1970s, IT WAS MY good fortune as a very junior editor on this magazine to be able to help our founder Oliver Jensen prepare a book on a subject that had interested him all his life, The American Heritage History of Railroads in America....
The 10 Greatest Jazz Records
THE CREATOR OF THE NEW DOCUMENTARY MAKES A VERY HARD CHOICE. Filmmaking is a difficult job of distillation, but nothing has prepared me for winnowing down nearly 19 hours of film--my new PBS documentary, Jazz--to a single CD. Still, I've done it,...
The Making of "Lonesome Dove"
LARRY McMURTRY TELLS THE STORY BEHIND THE BOOK This March, Simon & Schuster will publish Novel History: Historians and Novelists Confront America's Past (and Each Other), a fascinating anthology edited by Mark C. Carnes in which historians offer...
The Myth of Artificial Intelligence
COMPUTERS THAT COULD THINK WERE ONCE RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER. NOW THEY'RE FAR OFF. MARVIN MINSKY, THE head of the artificial intelligence laboratory at MIT, proclaimed in 1967 that "within a generation the problem of creating `artificial intelligence'...
To Plan a Trip
THE ST. JOHNS COUNTY VISITORS & Convention Bureau offers visitors countless pamphlets on St. Augustine (800-OLD-CITY or 904-829-1711 or www. visitoldcity.com). Some of them reflect the city's history as an early tourist attraction ("The World's...
Uncle Scrooge's Father
WALT DISNEY GAVE US DONALD DUCK, BUT ANOTHER MAN GAVE HIM HIS CHARACTER -- AND HIS FAMILY IT WAS, PERHAPS, FATE THAT I ended up writing business history for a living, for when I was still young enough to have my nose buried in comic books, my favorite...
When Pop Turned the Art World Upside Down
ANDY WARHOL AND FRIENDS OVERSAW THE DEATH OF A CENTURIES-OLD TRADITION AND THE BIRTH OF THE POSTMODERN. "IT WAS LIKE A SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE--," WROTE THE late curator and art critic Henry Geldzahler, "you Pop artists in different parts of the city,...
W vs. Q
THE LAST TIME A PRESIDENT'S SON WENT INTO HIS FATHER'S BUSINESS, THE RESULTS WERE LESS THAN INSPIRING THE PARALLELS ARE OBVIOUS. BOTH MEN ARE THE same-named sons of single-term Presidents who had served eight years as Vice President, and both won...
Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.