The Sage of Black Rock

CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite underwent a dramatic change of heart during the Vietnam War—and in doing so, changed the face of broadcast journalism

On February 6, 1965, Vietcong guerrillas attacked the U.S. base at Pleiku, killing eight American soldiers and wounding 126. The Johnson administration quickly retaliated, commencing another vicious cycle of lightning reprisals and military escalations. Suddenly U.S. “advisers” in Vietnam were recognized as combat troops; 23,000 U.S. personnel grew to 181,000 by the year’s end. On March 8 CBS Reports broadcast an hour-long debate between pro-war Sen. Gale McGee (D-WY) and antiwar Sen. George McGovern (D-SD).Read more »

The Full Johnson

Down with the debunking biographer,” Lyndon Johnson wrote in his college newspaper in 1929. “It now seems to be quite a thing to pull down the mighty from their seats and roll them in the mire. This practice deserves pronounced condemnation. Hero worship is a tremendous force in uplifting and strengthening. Humanity, let us have our heroes. Let us continue to believe that some have been truly great.” Read more »

The Black Vote: A New Era

Twenty years ago blacks were virtually disenfranchised throughout the South. Now their votes may elect our next President.

JESSE JACKSON’S impressive performance during the long primary season of 1984 has made one thing absolutely clear: If the Democratic candidate hopes to unseat Ronald Reagan in November, he will have to count heavily on black votes. The political arithmetic underscores the point. In 1982 the number of unregistered blacks of voting age exceeded Reagan’s 1980 margin of victory in nine states—Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and New York.Read more »

Letter From The Editor

Much of the history we present in this magazine seems, as a child might say, “all over.” The stories are concluded, the dead buried. The settings tend to become variously “shrines” or restorations —although, as the venturers on our new American Heritage Society tours have been noticing, in privileged peeks beyond the velvet ropes, these monuments also change, along with our views of history.

 
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“We Are All Descended From Grandfathers!”

and… …a glimpse at the grandfathers of the candidates exhibits the wonderful diversity of American life

In this country there are no classes in the British sense of that word, no impassable barriers of caste.… Our society resembles rather the waves of the ocean, whose every drop may move freely among its fellows, and may rise toward the light until it flashes on the crest of the highest wave.

—James A. Garfield, 1873

 
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