American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 47, No. 6, October

A Better Mousetrap
In a nation of inventors it has A always been the single most invented thing. At this very moment hundreds of Americans are busy obeying Emerson's famous dictum--even though the machine he exhorted them to build has existed in near-transcendental perfection...
A Legacy of Excellence: The Lincoln-Douglas Debates
"The prairies are on fire." So did an awestruck Easterner describe the political inferno that engulfed Illinois in 1858 That year, a pugnacious two-term Democratic senator who hated African-Americans far more than he hated slavery and a tall, coolly...
Election in Silver and Gold
I brag and chant of Bryan, Bryan, Bryan, Candidate for president who sketched a silver Zion, The one American Poet who could sing outdoors ... Neat stuff, in my opinion. Can you imagine anyone writing passionate poetry about either contestant...
Framed
FEW CRIMINAL TRIALS IN AMERICAN HISTORY have been so carefully studied as Leo Frank's, and with all the principals of the case now deceased and the written record generally available, it may come as a surprise that there is something new to be said...
French Kiss
Since the end of World War II, I've closely perused all manner of material on Franco-American concerns without ever seeing mention of a brace of incidents that I'm certain largely shaped our relationship in Gen. Charles de Gaulle's time. In 1945...
Going Home with Mark Twain
Willie Morris revisits a book that nourished him as a boy and discovers that the landscapes the young Samuel Clemens navigated are in fact the topography of Morris's own life MARK TWAIN WAS BORN ALMOST EXACTLY A century before I was into a small-town...
Liberalism Overthrown
IT WAS A FUNERAL TO REMEMBER. The rain had been pelting for hours when the mourners gathered in St. Cecilia's Roman Catholic Church, in the Sunset district, but now the skies cleared as four National Guard helicopters clattered overhead in a "missing...
Roycroft Renaissance
The village of East Aurora, in New York, eighteen miles southeast of Buffalo, has everything we look for in a small town--a wide main street, Victorian houses on well-tended lawns, a classic five-and-ten-cent store, an Art Deco movie theater, a diner...
The Fate of Leo Frank
He was a Northerner. He was an industrialist. He was a jew And a young girl was murdered in his factory. On December 23, 1983, the lead editorial in the Atlanta Constitution began, "Leo Frank has been lynched a second time." The first lynching had occurred...
The Has-Been
My mother loved parades and early on imbued of same. An incident at one sticks in my mind. I believe it was in 1926 or 1927. I can't be sure as I was only a small boy then. While standing on the curb in Newark, New Jersey, watching a Decoration...
The Heritage Traveler
Bountiful grape harvests and leaves the color of burnished gold were what Ovid must have had in mind when he joyously proclaimed autumn "the fairest season of the year." If the ancient Roman poet were alive today, chances are he'd also heartily approve...
The Legacy of the Sixties
THE SIXTIES HAVE BEEN MISUNDERstood. It was not a radical decade, as the term radical is commonly used in connection with those years. It was not a decade of the left ascendant. Rampant, perhaps, but not ascendant. Rather, the decade was radicalizing,...
The New Civil War
TWENTY YEARS AGO I WAS WORKING in the American Heritage book division side by side with our (now) senior editor Jane Colihan, the two of us younger, of course, and darker-haired, and glummer. This last was the case because we were fighting a losing...
The Philanthropist
It's a story that has been told many times. The Hewlett-Packard Company was founded by two gifted tinkerers, David Packard and William Hewlett, in a garage in Palo Alto, California, in 1938, with $538 in capital. Its first product was an audio oscillator...
The Thames They Are A-Changing.' (October 1971)
* Two landmark events in America's shift to the Sunbelt occurred this month: On October 1 Walt Disney World opened near Orlando, Florida, and on October 10 the antique London Bridge was rededicated in its new home of Lake Havasu City, Arizona. For...
Two Fires
* On the evening of October 7, Chicago firemen were summoned to the Lull and Holmes planing mill just west of downtown. There they encountered the latest and biggest in a series of fires the city had seen during an unusually dry summer and fall. Before...

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