That Wonderful One-hoss Shay

Oliver Wendell Holmes, father of the famous Supreme Court justice, was not only a renowned professor of anatomy at Harvard but by popular acclaim the genial poet laureate of Boston, which he preferred to call “the hub of the solar system.” Despite his usual good humor, Holmes was an aggressive Unitarian and spent much time assaulting the Puritan theology of his forebears.Read more »

The Life And Death Of Thomas Nast

HIS GRANDSON RECALLS:

To his contemporaries Thomas Nast was unquestionably America’s greatest and most effective political cartoonist, attacking corruption with a brilliant and often vitriolic pen, harrying the bosses, creating the political symbols that still remain the emblems of our two major political parties. His grandson’s impression is quite different. He remembers him as a gentle and witty companion, as the creator of our conception of Santa Claus, as a sad and lonely man whose life ended poignantly in a foreign land.Read more »

In Memoriam

They say a tree is best measured when it is down. Allan Nevins is gone, at last, although he seemed imperishable, and we at AMERICAN HERITAGE feel a poignant sense of loss. We measure him now by the length of the shadow he cast, and by the abiding influence he had upon us and upon the magazine we serve. We also think of the friendship which he extended to everyone who knew him, and that is immeasurable. Read more »

At War With The Stars And Stripes

Army newspapers in World War were unofficial, informal, and more than the top brass could handle

In the summer of the year 1944, in a time of world war that is already history to my children’s generation but remains vividly personal to mine as a moment of (in retrospect) astonishing simplicity and idealism, I found myself pointing a jeep in the direction of Pisa and Florence. On the so-called forgotten front in Italy, the Wehrmacht held the northern side of these cities; the line dividing their riflemen and ours was the river Arno. Read more »

“Commune” In East Aurora

In the spring of 1915 a handsome fifty-nine-year-old man with a marked resemblance to Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan boarded ship in New York, bound for England. Other passengers stared unabashedly at his long black Prince Albert coat, his outsize black tie, his almost shoulder-length tresses topped by a Stetson hat. There was indeed nothing ordinary about Elbert Hubbard.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 »

Through History With The Times

During less hectic days back in 1961, two editors at the New York Times got to wondering how that unawed newspaper might have handled some of the more momentous events since time began. They decided to try their hand at writing conventional one-column, two-line “heads” for a number of such incidents.Read more »

The Case of John Peter Zenger

The law was against the poor printer. The governor wanted his scalp. His attorneys were disbarred. Could anything save him—and free speech?

On the morning of August 4, 1735, a cross section of New York’s ten thousand citizens clustered outside the city hall at the corner of Wall and Nassau streets. English and Dutch, men of all classes and trades, waited and argued tensely. Carts bounced over the paving blocks. The midsummer morning light slanted down on white sails in the harbor and on the spire of Trinity Church a block away.Read more »

The Gentlewoman And The Robber Baron

When Ida Tarbell set out to probe the operations of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust, it seemed like David against Goliath all over again

One wintry morning in 1902 a prim, resolute spinster presented herself at 26 Broadway in New York City, bastion of the powerful Standard Oil organization. Promptly she was ushered through a maze of empty corridors to a reception room facing an open courtyard. As she waited, she became aware that a man in a nearby window was observing her stealthily.

 
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Hard Times Remembered

Mr. Terkel, who has a daily radio show on WFMT in Chicago, is the author of Division Street: America . Published in 1967, this study of the lives and feelings of a cross section of Chicagoans quickly became a best seller. In his new book, Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression , Mr. Terkel has explored a wider field. He has recorded the memories of hundreds of Americans who lived through the grim decade of the 1930’s.Read more »