American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 51, No. 8, December

1901 Three Cents a Barrel
ON THE MORNing of January 10, in a cow pasture four miles south of Beaumont, Texas, a group of oil drillers paused to replace a worn bit. They were working in a slightly elevated area known as Sour Spring Mound, where surface indications had convinced...
A Berkshire Christmas
STOCKBRIDGE MARKS THE HOLIDAYS BY SUMMONING BACK A WORLD NORMAN ROCKWELL CREATED ON THE FIRST SUNDAY in December, the village of Stockbridge in western Massachusetts decks itself out in Christmas lights and does its best to look the way it did in...
Cheeseburgers and Code Talkers
AN ARIZONA BURGER KING TELLS THE STORY OF A UNIQUE UNIT OF MODERN-DAY HAVAJO WARRIORS JAPANESE TOURISTS HEADING TO THE GRAND CANYON OFTEN pass through the Navajo Reservation town of Kayenta, Arizona, but when they stop at the local Burger King,...
Clinton Observed
Our foremost satiric artist bids farewell tea great subject--and selects four colleagues he believes were the departing President's defining delineators IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME, WHEN THE FLAMING passions that surround President Clinton have faded...
Clinton's Legacy
WHICH PRESIDENT WILL HISTORY COMPARE HIM MOST CLOSELY TO? AS HE COUNTS DOWN the last days of his second term, we can be assured that President Clinton is now focusing his thoughts exclusively on the one subject that has preoccupied him since he...
Correspondence
FAR-FLUNG FLAPPER My mother, in her twenties during the 1920s, was a bookkeeper for the John T. Stanley Soap Factory in New York City. She often told me about those happy years "with the girls." One circumstance persisted in her memory. There was...
Editors' Bookshelf
A The browser who leafs through The Statue of Liberty Encyclopedia, by Barry Moreno (Simon & Schuster, $30.00), will find entries not only on the statue's nose (three feet eight inches long) and replications (a 44-foot polyester model made for...
Florida
Wonders of History, Nature and Culture Under the Sun Adventures of every variety await visitors to the state that's famous for its sunshine. Florida is a land of spectacular natural beauty, rich cultural heritage and dramatic history. It's a...
Great Books Reborn
NEW TECHNIOLOGY ALLOWS THE REISSUE OF CLASSIC HISTORICAL WORKS A FEW WEEKS AGO I FOUND myself balanced atop a ladder at the Strand, a vast used-book store in Manhattan, hanging onto a shelf with one hand and reaching greedily for John Lukacs's The...
Half a Million Purple Hearts
Why a 200-year-old decoration offers evidence in the controversy surrounding the Hiroshima bombing. EARLY LAST YEAR, JUST AS NATO WAS STEPPING up its bombing campaign in Kosovo, the news broke that the United States was manufacturing 9,000 new Purple...
Hearst Gets His Due
A NEW BIOGRAPHY RESCUES A GREAT INNOVATOR FROM THE SHADOW OF CITIZEN KANE HISTORY IS A SELF-CORrecting process. Every historian lives amid the culture of his or her own age and to a greater or lesser extent reflects that culture and its interests...
History's Mysteries Exposed!
The pure and simple truth," observed Oscar Wilde, "is rarely pure and never simple" -- a rule that has been proven throughout time. Did the anguished Marilyn Monroe, for instance, die alone in her bed after swallowing a handful of pills -- or was...
Hope Alaska Gold Rush Revisited
Only 88 miles from Anchorage, Alaska, located on the picturesque Kenai Peninsula, is a charming little town called Hope. Though most visitors to our most northwestern state are aware of its colorful Gold Rush past, many don't realize that the territory's...
Jazz and America
Geoffrey C. Ward, writer of a major new book and 19-hour documentary (directed by Ken Burns) on the subject, discusses file joys and wonders of our native art form GEOFFREY C. WARD IS NO STRANGER TO American Heritage, where he served as editor and...
Merry Chanukah
THE HOLIDAY'S TRIUMPHANT RISE FROM AN OVERLOOKED AFTERTHOUGHT IS ONE OF AMERICA'S GREATEST SUCCESS STORIES. IT WAS THE LAST DAY OF CHANUKAH, and the family gathering was filled with holiday spirit. Gifts were exchanged, the menorah was lit amid...
Roundup in Quang Ngia
ONE MORNING ON my second tour of duty in Vietnam, this time with the 101st Airborne, my squad leader announced, "Men, day after tomorrow we're all going to become cowboys." The plan was to evacuate a valley in Quang Ngia Province of all residents and...
Silver in the Back Yard
A YANKEE SCHOOLGIRL FINDS HERSELF IN CIVIL-RIGHTS-ERA ALABAMA IN 1963 I WAS FIFTEEN AND LIVING a bucolic existence in the farmlands of southern New Jersey, plunging into every activity high school could invent. Abruptly my father was transferred...
Telephones
In one strike, Alexander Graham Bell's telephone made communication the most modern of technologies, wherein electricity chased the speed of sound right up to the speed of light. The phone has remained modern ever since, yet the blindingly fast systems...
The Adventure Craze
MORE AND MORE AMERICANS ARE PAYING A LOT OF MONEY TO PUT THEMSELVES IN MORTAL DANGER. WHY? AND WHY NOW? AT 14,411 FEET MOUNT RAINIER WITH ITS 26 GLACIERS stands a magnificent mile above the mountains that surround it. I first saw it some 30 years...
The Forgotten Plague
A MURDEROUS WAS RAVAGING THE SOUTH. THEN ONE BRAVE AND DETERMINED DOCTOR DISCOVERED THE CURE -- AND NOBODY BELIEVED HIM. OBLIVION IS A VIRTUE IN A DISEASE. Cancer, AIDS, diabetes, and even tuberculosis are too much with us, but hardly anyone knows...
THE Kid
JACKIE COOGAN REACHED THE PINNACLE OF SUCCESS AND STARDOM WHEN HE WAS FIVE. THEN HE SET THE HOLLYWOOD PATTERN OF PAYING THE PRICE FOR EARLY FAME. ONCE HE HAD BEEN THE MOST FAMOUS child in the world, praised by the Pope, celebrated by the League...
The World's Most Valuable Phone Book
THE UNIVERSITY of Miami's Cuban Heritage Collection has a surprising star attraction, the Directorio Telefonico de La Habana, Havana's last published telephone directory before Fidel Castro's takeover. Out of the collection's 500,000 documents and...
Why History Now?
ON LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY IN 1976, The New York Times ran a Tiffany & Co. advertisement in which the headline ABRAHAM LINCOLN SAID MORE THAN 100 YEARS AGO was followed by a cluster of 10 quotes of identical tenor: "You cannot help the poor by destroying...

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