American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 57, No. 3, June-July

1881: President Garfield Shot
125 YEARS AGO AT NINE-TWENTY ON the morning of July 2, President James A. Garfield and Secretary of State James G. Blaine walked into the Baltimore & Potomac train station in Washington, D.C. A few seconds after they entered the visiting...
Classic Hi-Fi Components
AFTER A 1946 FORTUNE MAGAZINE feature devoted 11 pages to a fledgling phenomenon called high fidelity, many music lovers were quick to purchase equipment made by Fisher, a little-known firm whose products were ranked "best ... in price and performance."...
Cruel and Usual: Why Prisoners Shouldn't Pay Their Way
ONE OF THE WORST IDEAS Americans have embraced recently is the belief that a decent society must be run at a profit. Government can easily come to resemble kudzu. You have to keep an eye on it and cut it back constantly if you don't want it to grow...
Grand Junction: Where Two Lines Raced to Drive the Last Spike in Transcontinental Track
IF YOU WERE ASKED TO name pivotal meetings in American history, the linking of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads might not immediately come to mind. But it was perhaps the most important. Before the completion of the transcontinental...
Sweet Nothing: The Triumph of Diet Soda: It Came out of a Brooklyn Hospital and in Very Few Years Changed Not Only What Americans Drink but How They See Themselves
IT IS PROBABLY FAIR TO SAY THAT HYMAN KIRSCH, 50 YEARS dead, his once powerful beverage company now a shadow of its former fizzy self, could not have imagined the ways in which his No-Cal soda would change the world. Kirsch was gone before Diet Coke...
The Cannon Spa: How Gettysburg Keeps Its Guns Ready for You
WHERE CAN YOU GO TO FIX A 1,580-pound cast-iron cannon carriage? Well, if you're near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, you can simply--or maybe not so simply--roll it to the repair shop behind 302 York Street. There, on a typical day, you might find bronze...
The Madness of Mary Lincoln: Her Son Had Her Committed. She Said It Was So He Could Get His Hands on Her Money. Now, 130 Years after This Bitter and Controversial Drama, a Trove of Letters-Long Believed Destroyed-Sheds New Light on It
IN AUGUST 1875, AFTER SPENDING THREE MONTHS IN A SANITARIUM in Batavia, Illinois, put there by her son against her will, Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of the martyred President, wrote: "It does not appear that God is good, to have placed me here. I endeavor...
The Man Who Made 'Deadwood': The Creator of the Immensely Popular New Western Discusses What Makes It Truly New: An Interview with David Milch
DAVID MILCH HAS TAKEN ONE OF THE MOST CONVOLUTED IMAGINABLE paths to success in television. Having earned an M.F.A. in fiction at the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa, he went on to teach literature at Yale for nine years and became close...
The Triumph of Capote
MORE THAN 40 YEARS LATER, IN COLD BLOOD seems as fresh and as horrifying as it did on publication. The book's success and continued critical reputation have distorted Truman Capote's image in American letters. In truth, before In Cold Blood he was...
To Plan a Trip
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT GOLDEN Spike, visit the official Web site of the National Park Service (www. nps.gov/gosp), or call 435-471-2209. To learn more about Union Station, visit www.theunionstation.org, or call 801-393-9886. The railroad museum shares...
What Would the Founders Do Today? Suppose They Could Go on "Meet the Prees"
WHO CARES WHAT THE FOUNDERS WOULD do? Who believes that the experiences, opinions, or plans of men who lived 200 years ago could have any relevance to our problems? Who imagines that the Founders could answer our questions? We do. I have heard it...
Where There's a Will, There's a Wendover: Nevada's Neon Colossus Winks Once Again
ALMOST EVERY COMMUNITY HAS ITS MONUMENT, BE it a historic building, a field gun in the park, or a bronze statue in the city square. In West Wendover, Nevada, it's a 64-foot-tall sheet-metal cowboy named Will, who waves and winks at passersby from atop...
Why Do We Say ...?
TO CELEBRATE THE 200TH ANNIVERSARY of the invention of the cocktail, the United States Bartenders' Guild was scheduled to join forces on May 13 with the Museum of the American Cocktail to present the first annual American Cocktail Awards--dubbed, almost...

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