American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 55, No. 3, June-July

1804: The Duel
200 YEARS AGO ON JUNE 18 ALEXANDER Hamilton--a Revolutionary leader, then a Framer of the Constitution and a farsighted Treasury Secretary, and now a successful New York lawyer and politician--received a polite but peremptory note from Aaron Burr,...
Art and the City: How Grand Rapids Regained Its Grandeur
I'VE LONG HELD THE NOTION that my lion-pawed oak dining table was a prime example of Grand Rapids furniture. Michigan's second city is the birthplace of mass-produced furniture in America, but when I visited last summer, I didn't see anything that...
Business
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 John Steele...
Copy Wrong: Internet Piracy and Dickens and Melville
"YES, I READ THE ILLEGAL TRANSLATION, a Czech Internet correspondent known as "Hustey" wrote last summer, when the next, eagerly awaited book in J. K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series--Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix--first appeared in bookstores....
Democratic Debacle: The Republican Party Ensured a Landslide Defeat When It Nominated Barry Goldwater in 1964, but the Democrats Did Far More Lasting Damage to Themselves at Their Convention That Year. in Fact, They Still Haven't Recovered
EARLIER THIS YEAR SEN. JOHN KERRY caused a stir by saying that the Democratic party "always makes the mistake of looking South.... Al Gore proved he could have been President of the United States without winning one Southern state, including his own."...
Fountain Pens
IN 1884 A NEW YORK INSURANCE BROKER named Lewis E. Waterman patented a pen that contained a capillary action to control the flow of ink from the reservoir. The earliest fountain pens had to be filled with eyedroppers, but they eliminated incessant...
On the Road to Harriet Tubman: She Has Become One of the Most Famous of All American Women, but to the Biographer She Is a Tantalizingly Elusive Quarry
LIKE ALL BIOGRAPHERS, I SEARCH FOR COMPELLING figures with universal appeal. I seek someone who will keep me awake nights, who will take me on strange detours, who will make me crazy with curiosity. Those very vital questions that form the core of...
"The Devil's Highway"
FOR 77 YEARS U.S ROUTE 666, THE TWO-LANE highway that runs some 190 miles northward from Gallup, New Mexico, through southwestern Colorado, and then west to Monticello, Utah, was known as the Devil's Highway. This was because the number 666 is associated...
The Perilous Afterlife of the Lewis and Clark Expedition: The Explorers Who Set out Two Hundred Years Ago Were in Danger for Three Years. Their Legacy Was in Danger for Decade after Decade-And It Was Meriwether Lewis Who Almost Killed It
MERIWETHER LEWIS AND WILLIAM CLARK AND THE other members of the Corps of Discovery, thoroughly fed up with the long, rainy winter they had spent on the West Coast, left the home they had built for themselves, Fort Clatsop, in what is now Oregon, late...
The Twilight of Steam: A New Museum Houses a Master's Photographs of How the Technology That Built America Ended
BETWEEN 1955 AND 1960, O. WINSTON LINK MADE 21 self-financed trips to Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina to photograph the Norfolk & Western Railway before it became the last major railroad in America to convert from steam to...
War Memorials
ONE DOUR MORNING EARLY THIS MARCH I HAD to drive to eastern Pennsylvania. I'd heard that a patch of the sometime steel town of Bethlehem had been spruced up and now was a bower of postindustrial charm, so after my errand I made a detour and headed...
"You Mustn't Let It Bother You Too Much": An Airman's Letters to His Wife
ON NOVEMBER 23, 1943, A 24-YEAR-OLD PILOT named George Rarey, attached to the 379th Fighter Squadron, boarded the Queen Elizabeth and set sail for Britain Rarey (he hated his first name and never used it) left behind his wife--Betty Lou, who was five...
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