American Heritage

Articles from Vol. 46, No. 4, July-August

American Heritage On-Line
FROM THE START I RESENTED COMPUTERS even more than most people who have been bushwhacked by them in middle age. This is because a good friend was so wholly in their thrall that whenever we spoke, I would hear about some new piece of hard- or software...
CD-ROM Round Up
* In the last year or so CD-ROMs have begun to deluge bookstores and computer stores. Quite a few of them, especially at the beginning, have been hastily assembled arrangements of pre-existing material, throwing together sound, pictures, movies, and...
Dorsal Debate
THE DEBATE OVER THE SO-CALLED EARLIEST daguerreotype of Lincoln has moved south --anatomically speaking, that is. Having spent months comparing the face in the controversial photograph with faces in dozens of known Lincoln images--using computer overlays...
Getting the Word
The gray stone mansion that housed the Swiss Legation in Washington was a virtual Tower of Babel in the week after the atomic bombs exploded over Japan. Everyone knew that war's end was imminent and the official surrender note from Emperor Hirohito would...
Her Majesty's Nightgown
My brush with history involved Queen Elizabeth and the nightgown she wore on her wedding night. I think. When her engagement to Prince Philip was announced, I was working in San Antonio in a large department store--Joske's, the "largest store in the...
Quantrill's Bones
AT APPROXIMATELY 2:30 P.M. ON OCTOBER 30, 1992, two maintenance men lowered a white fiberglass child's coffin into a shallow grave in the Fourth Street Cemetery, in Dover, Ohio. The coffin contained the skull of a Confederate guerrilla named William...
Shaker Retreat
"Partial list of Articles to be Sold at Shaker Village, near Harrodsburg, Ky., July 12th, 1922, Beginning at 11 o'clock," reads the poster in a book on my lap. About 27 beds six children's beds about 40 cherry chests about 10 chests of drawers a...
Speaking of Speakers
It is not easy to be nonpartisan about a confrontational politician like Newt Gingrich, but I think it's reasonably objective to say that he has elevated the job of Speaker of the House to a level of visibility that is rare in its two centuries of existence....
The Florida Keys: Unique Getaways in a Unique Environment
No adjective better describes the Florida Keys than the single word "unique." Fortunately, the people of the Florida Keys have long recognized that their archipelago is indeed endowed with a unique environment, which explains why they expend such effort...
The It Girl
All her mature life Clara Bow had insomnia nothing could relieve--not sedatives, liquor, endless psychiatric intervention, electric shock therapy. She dated it from the moment she awoke in her family's one-room cold-water Brooklyn flat to find her mother...
The Jury on Trial
IS TRIAL BY JURY the essential underpinning of our system of justice or--as more and more critics charge--a relic so flawed it should perhaps even be abolished? An experienced trial judge examines the historical evidence in the case. THE DISTINGUISHED...
The Lady Brakemen
Cosigned to the Pennsylvania Railroad's "Garbage Run," they fought their own war on the home front, and they helped shape a victory as surely as their brothers and husbands did overseas ALL THE NEW LADY BRAKEMEN ON THE Pennsylvania Railroad were put...
The Last Mission
We thought the mission would be long one. Our targets in Japan were now farther and farther from our fighter base on Iwo Jima, where we were flying our P-51 Mustangs to the Empire. At first these missions were escort for the B-29 Superfortresses on their...
The Next Struggle
It was 1974. As your average twelve-year-old, my world was one of mischievous after-school activities, mixed with the usual sandlot sports, awkward encounters with girls, and homework. With the exception of the trendy peace-sign belt buckle and fingers-gesturing...
The Nutting Chest
Foursquare and substantial, the Connecticut chest is instantly recognizable as a product of the seventeenth century. Among the earliest furniture produced in America, it combined simplicity and versatility, for like the sprawling continent itself, the...
The Virgin and the Carburetor
TEST-DRIVING AUTOMOBILES, HENRY ADAMS DISCOVERED IN JUNE 1904, was "shattering to one's nerves." Trying out a Hotchkiss for purchase "scared my hair green. Truly it is a new world that I live in," he continued, "though its spots are old.... The pace...
We Banked on Them: Why Americans Should Mourn the Death of a British Financial Institution
It is not often that even the most ardent believer in capitalism mourns the passing of an economic institution, unless, of course, he or she has personally lost money as a result. After all, the people involved are still around even if the institution...
Who's Who?
MORE THAN ANY OTHER FEATURES, our faces are what mark us as unique individuals. Superficially our faces are who we are. Together with names they identify us with the lives we have lived; they are our perpetual calling cards. Our interest in and curiosity...

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