The American Heritage

A ranking of the forty wealthiest Americans of all time (Surprise: Only three of them are alive today)

JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER

1839-1937 Read more »

The Road To The Future

Fifty years ago the builders of the Pennsylvania Turnpike completed America’s first superhighway—and helped determine the shape of travel to come

Most American motorists take for granted the concrete and asphalt web of interstate highways that has penetrated so deeply into the nation’s economy and thinking. The 43,000-mile system of fouror-more-lane divided, limited-access roads reaches from the canyons of California to the beaches of Florida and the urban bustle of the Northeast Corridor. But of course there was a time when the superhighway idea was brand-new.Read more »

The First 1040

Seventy-five years ago Americans paid their first income tax. And liked it.

On the evening of March 1, 1914, Americans all around the nation inaugurated what has become a spring ritual for millions of us. They raced to file the first Form 1040 at the last minute before the deadline, hurrying by motorcar or trolley or on foot. Read more »

The Street

A knowledgeable and passionate guide takes us for a walk down Wall Street, and we find the buildings there eloquent of the whole history of American finance

One of the pleasant burdens of friendship, and of living in a renowned and intimidating great city like New York, is that friends planning to visit will ask me to show them the sights of some quarter of town, most usually in the borough of Manhattan, county of New York. Read more »

Rich Kids

For the children and grandchildren of a poor boy from Pennsylvania, childhood was magic

BORN IN 1839 TO AN EMIGRANT COBBLER and his wife, Henry Phipps, Jr., grew up near Pittsburgh. Determined to escape the “despised” cobbler’s bench, he succeeded, eventually becoming a partner of his boyhood neighbor, Andrew Carnegie. Phipps retired in 1900 with more than forty million dollars. Phipps had five children; Jay, his eldest son, built Westbury House on Long Island, which became the center of existence for three generations of Phippses. Read more »

The Gilded Age

For years it was seen as the worst of times: bloated, crass, witlessly extravagant. But now scholars are beginning to find some of the era’s unexpected virtues.

 

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Disarmament Conferences: Ballets At The Brink

“Almost every time a serious disarmament effort got under way, it barely managed to move forward an inch or two before a great world cataclysm intervened”

As spring moved northward over Europe in 1970, a familiar scene was enacted in Vienna, a city where diplomacy is as much a part of the civic tradition as steelmaking in Pittsburgh. In April, Soviet and American officials exchanged greetings, drank champagne, smiled at news cameras, and then settled down to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, known to headline writers as SALT . So, with the opening of the 1970’s mankind’s long dream of disarmament once more cast its spell. It is a compelling vision.Read more »

Mister Carnegie’s “Libary”

When I was very young, I thought Andrew Carnegie lived in Moberly, Missouri (population 12,000, smack dab between St. Louis and Kansas City), because he gave Moberly what we natives called the “Libary.” Possibly he lived in the big red brick house at the end of Fifth Street, the one with the tennis court and the curved drive, or perhaps in the yellow stone mansion with tall white nillars on West Reed Street. They were both immense solid buildings similar to the library, and certainly appropriate as a dwelling for a man of Mr.Read more »

‘The Works Are Not Worth One Drop Of Human Blood’

In his own time there raged about Andrew Carnegie, as about any man who pushes his head above the crowd, many a controversy. From the standpoint of his place in history, none is more important than the great strike that erupted at the Homestead, Pennsylvania, works of the Carnegie Steel Company in the summer of 1892. Read more »