American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 49, No. 5, September

A Fair Country Cook Meets the President
When I was the chef at the Hotel Cortez in El Paso, Texas, in the spring of 1963, word arrived that President Kennedy would spend a night at the hotel later that year. I would be preparing meals not only for his party but for the President himself....
Bread and Butter: Bread and Roses
Not long ago I opened the paper and discovered, without surprise, that the final figures were in on the 1996 election campaign and that it had bee--at $2.2 billion--the most expensive in our history (so far). Of the top ten contributing organizations...
How Prozac Slew Freud
Not long ago I was lecturing in my course on medical history about people who had accused themselves of smearing feces on a crucifix or committing some equally sacrilegious act. In fact their beliefs had been delusional. They had done nothing of the...
Little Colonel Funston
That's what the newspapers called him, and he spent an increasingly reckless career trying to edit out the adjective. But even winning a war single-handed didn't get him what he wanted. ON THE NIGHT OF MARCH 22, 1901, AS FIERCE RAINS battered his...
Pigs Is Riggs
On September 20, in Houston, twenty-nine-year-old Billie Jean King met fifty-five-year-old Bobby Riggs in a widely promoted "Battle of the Sexes" before the largest crowd ever to watch a tennis match up to that time. The spectacle was the sequel to...
Richmond's Other Heroes: Finding African-American History in the Cradle of the Confederacy
Finding African-American history in the cradle of the Confederacy SINCE 1861 RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, HAS BEEN THE CRADLE OF THE confederacy--the city the Rebels held so dear that they preferred to burn it rather than have it fall into Yankee hands. After...
South Carolina
IF THERE IS ANY PUZZLEMENT ABOUT THE HAPPY prospect of visiting South Carolina, it is simply this: where do you start? In the rolling green piedmont of the north? In historic Charleston, or its country cousin downstate, Beaufort? On the beaches and...
Terror Bound
THE MONARCH OF ALL amusement devices is beautiful to look at and exhilarating to ride. Even so, roller coasters nearly died out in America before recent events brought them surging back. THANK GOD FOR FAILED SCREENPLAYS AND THE IDEAS they set free....
The American Century
Evans likes to refer to The American Century as "history for browsers." There are searching essays at the start of each chapter, but most of the book consists of two-page spreads concerning particular people or events. These are driven by pictures...
The Best Ride
I KNOW NOTHING AT ALL ABOUT KEVIN RANDAZZO, except that three summers ago he was eighteen years old and had a job taking tickets and helping children onto the wooden horses at Nunley's Carousel and Amusements ill Baldwin, Long Island--and that when,...
The Gospel According to Eve
EIGHTY YEARS OLD AND bedridden, her legs no longer capable of supporting her 240-pound bulk, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was scarcely disposed to attend tire annual convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association being held in Washington, D.C.,...
The Great Hurricane
LATE IN THE MORNING OF SEPTEMBER 21, 1938, MY SEVENTEEN year-old brother came home from a flying lesson at a small airport in Revere, Massachusetts, near Boston, and offhandedly told our mother a hurricane was coming. "A warning came over the...
The Novel of the Century
In William Faulkner's greatest work, a bitter epic of violence and Despair resolves itself on a note of love and longing WILLIAM FAULKNER, THE TROUBLED ALCOHOLIC SON OF THE poorest state in the Union, a Mississippi so obsessed by race that it refused...
The People's Banker
The son of an Italian immigrant built the largest privately held Bank in the world by helping other immigrants MANY DISTINGUISHED ECONOMISTS OF THE MID-TWENTIETH century predicted an American economy that would be dominated by a relative handful...
The Private Jack Benny(Brief Article)
In the fall of 1951 I was twelve years old and living on the island of Okinawa. My father, an Air Force colonel, was the public in formation officer for the 20th Air Force, headquartered at Kadena Air Force Base there. At that time the 20th was flying...
The Streetcars of San Francisco
On September 1 the Clay Street Hill Railroad, San Francisco's first cable-car line, began regular service over six-tenths of a mile between Kearny Street and Jones Street, at the top of Nob Hill. The Clay Street line was America's first successful...
Young Man in a Hurry
On the night of September 17, a frontier trader named Francois Xavier Aubry rode his staggering horse through a driving rain into Independence, Missouri. The disheveled rider stopped outside a tavern and, being too stiff to dismount, was lifted from...