MIA

A search begun in a Washington, D.C., boardinghouse 140 years ago continues today as a $100-million-a-year effort to reunite the U.S. military and American families with their missing soldiers

Atop a half-mile-high mountain deep in the heart of the A Shau Valley in central Vietnam, a poisonous worm snake winds itself onto the edge of a spade. After a fleeting glance, the U.S. sergeant holding the spade, Tammi Reeder, 34, flicks her wrist and flings the vermilion serpent into the double-canopy jungle surrounding this mountaintop enclave. It is the fourth such snake in an hour and about the millionth over the past several weeks, so this group of 10 U.S.Read more »

Rescue Squad

TODAY NEARLY HALF
a million men and women serve two-thirds of the country in a crucial volunteer service that began only recently—and only because a nine-year-old boy witnessed a drowning

 
 

ON A WARM MAY AFTERNOON IN 1909 THE quiet along the river in Roanoke, Virginia, is broken by cries for help. Two canoeists have capsized. Bystanders rush to the banks, throw branches toward the foundering men. It is in vain. The swift current carries them under; they drown. A nine-year-old boy watches them perish. Read more »

Queen Barton

Early biographies of the great, independent women of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were most often written by admirers so ardent that their pages of unrelenting praise now defy reading. “Sensitive by nature, refined by culture,” wrote the anonymous author of one biographical sketch of Clara Barton in 1876, “she has nevertheless taken unaccustomed fields of labor, walked untrodden paths with bleeding feet and opened pioneer doors with bruised fingers, not for her own aggrandisement but for that of her sex and humanity.” Read more »

A Bulwark Against Mighty Woes

The Hundredth Anniversary of the American Red Cross

 
 

The Red Cross “shall constitute a bulwark against the mighty woes sure to come sooner or later to all people and all nations,” said Clara Barton in 1904, toward the end of her stewardship of the durable institution she had organized in 1881.Read more »

The Drought And The Dole

Few places are more unpleasant ban Washington in the summer, and the summer of 1930 was worse than most. The pressures of the business downturn had kept Herbert Hoover a prisoner in the White House through a hot June and a hotter July —the stock-market crash was less than a year old—and in those days before air conditioning, editorial writers were beginning to express concern for the President’s health.Read more »