“full Speed Ahead And Damn The Tomorrows”

Our Frontier Heritage of Waste

Historians of the future, looking back on the twilight years of the twentieth century, may designate the mid-1970’s as worthy of that supreme accolade accorded only the most significant dates in history: to serve as a dividing point between chapters in their textbooks.Read more »

Saving the Longhorns

These hardy Texas beasts with “too much legs, horns, and speed” had long since been replaced by stodgier breeds. Now they were facing extinction…

If you are someone who thought the Texas longhorn was as dead as the passenger pigeon, here is a bit of news. At one time closer to extinction than the buffalo ever was, this historic breed is again doing quite well, thanks to a few dedicated cattlemen who recognized the debt owed by the Southwest to the millions of longhorn beeves that plodded up the Chisholm and Western trails to Kansas and Nebraska railheads in the two decades following the Civil War and brought a large measure of prosperity to the impoverished Lone Star State. Read more »

The Legend Of A Lake

CONSERVATION

The lake was liberated from glacial ice ten thousand years before Babylon was built. Thus, it had more than fifteen thousand years in which to transform from an almost sterile, ice-gouged river valley into fecund, prosperous Lake Erie.

In fifteen millennia the lake received more than ninety species of fish and immense and varied populations of insects, worms, and crustaceans, and built up the largest concentrations of freshwater fish in the world. Read more »

T.R. And The “Nature Fakers”

The Rough Rider rode roughshod over writers who took liberties with Mother Nature’s children

It was an early spring evening in 1907. Theodore Roosevelt and Edward B. Clark, the Washington correspondent for the Chicago Evening Post , were sitting in front of a log fire in the White House talking casually of their shared enthusiasm for the campfire and the outdoors. T.R. had a high regard for Clark, his frequent hiking companion, because he was “a good fellow” and had written a monograph on the prothonotary warbler. Read more »

The Deadly Dust: The Unhappy History Of DDT

Everyone knows a little about the rise and fall of DDT—how it was once hailed as a great boon to mankind; how useful it was in field and garden, house and yard; and how at last to our dismay it was unmasked as a killer, the chemical Al Capone, a threat to our environment and possibly our very existence. Everyone knows that the federal and state governments are acting to end the DDT menace, saving us, if narrowly, from disaster. We can breathe easy again. . . . Or can we? Read more »

Epitaph For An American Landmark

In the name of progress one of New England’s most historic and unusual urban areas is being carved into parking lots

In the year 1807 in the town of Derryfield, New Hampshire, a gentleman by the name of Samuel Blodeet proclaimed: “For as the country increases in population, we must have manufactories, and here at my canal will be a manufacturing town— the Manchester of America! ” Blodget (right) built his canal around the Amoskeag Falls on the Merrimack River, and in 1810 Derryfield (population: 615) indeed took Manchester as its new name.Read more »

The American Heritage Society Awards

In the last issue this magazine commenced regular and intensive coverage ot conservation and historic preservation, signifying our deep concern for the widely endangered physical heritage of America. This month we are pleased to announce that this concern is to he backed up by a group of awards, totalling $50,000, to be given by the American Heritage Society, the organization launched last July to bring together our two scholarly and founding groups, our history-publishing operations, and the readers whose interest supports us. Read more »

Conservation

Sir: … The article “Lament for a Lost Eden,” by Eliot Porter [October, 1969], affords an excellent example of what I feared in connection with your publication going “conservationist”… In the last paragraph, the author says: “This is the monument men have built —you and I —not to the lost Eden so few knew, but to their engineering ingenuity and ruthless ability to transform the land, to remake it simply for the sake of remaking it, thoughtlessly, improvidently.” This is pure fanaticism and unworthy of publication in A MERICAN H Read more »

A Wrecker’s Dozen

There are places on this earth, in Europe particularly, where conservation is taken to mean the preservation of the notable works of man as well as nature. Magnificent old railroad stations and churches, public buildings, historic houses, architectural landmarks of all kinds, are valued for their beauty or for the memories they evoke, for the sense of continuity they give a place, or, often, just because they have been around a long time and a great many people are fond of them. But here in America we don’t—most of us, anyway—seem to feel that way.Read more »