Personal history

By one of those happy accidents that nourish historians and magazines of history, an antiques dealer, sorting through the contents of the attic of a house in Mahopac, New York, in 1962, came across two notebooks that had apparently belonged to a Union soldier in the Civil War. Read more >>
A few years ago, when she was about seventy, Mildred Renaud took a creative-writing class in the adult-education program at the high school in Briarcliff Manor, New York, where she now lives. Read more >>

OR HOW THE BOY SCOUTS CAME TO AMERICA

Africa was part of my childhood. The attic in our Detroit home smelled like a zoo. There were lion, leopard, zebra, antelope, and colobus monkey skins that my sister and I and our friends used to take out of their trunks and forget to put back. Read more >>
All that is left now of Grandpa’s village is a handful of well-worn homes on the peninsula side of Shoalwater Bay (now officially Willapa Harbor—but the water remains shoal), a small estuary of the Pacific Ocean in the sparsely populated southwestern corner of the state of Wash Read more >>

A soldier remembers a great battle

Three decades ago a battle was fought for St. Lô , Normandy, France, in the second of the great world wars of this century. To have been young at St. Read more >>
Back in the twenties, before, chances are, Jack Valenti and Linda Lovelace were even born, my Aunt Julia developed her own movie-rating system. This was based not on the movies themselves but on the stars who appeared in them. Read more >>

“My God! What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be dead!” the Admiral told Lanikai's skipper when she finally sailed into port

On March 18, 1941, eighty-two days out of Manila, all sails set, rigging taut, a small, green, weathered schooner entered the port of Fremantle, Western Australia. Atop her afterdeck house a small-caliber, slim-barrelled cannon sat on a brass pedestal. Read more >>
The first time I saw Adlai Stevenson was in July, 1953. After the splendid but massive failure of his 1952 campaign he had spent five months travelling, mostly in Asia. He had received world acclaim to set against his national defeat. London was the last stage of his journey. Read more >>
Charlie and I first met under the most informal conditions imaginable—we were both stark naked. Read more >>
At the time World War I was nearing its end, I was stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, as an officer-instructor in light field artillery (horse-drawn three-inch cannon known as French 75’s). Read more >>

DRAWN FOR AMERICAN HERITAGE BY LITNESS

The new teacher, Miss Flock, was hired just one week before country school opened. Read more >>

Form the Journal of Comte Jean-Francois-Louis de Clermont-Crèvecoeur

A Little Visit to the Lower Depths via

No one, it has been said, ever really learns to accept the fact that it was a coupling by his parents that produced him. The novelist Louis Auchincloss extends this and says we can never believe in the sexuality of our grandparents. Read more >>

A reminiscent tribute to a great American painter, with an evocative selection from thousands of unpublished sketches

Soon after Reginald Marsh’s death in 1954 an art magazine asked me to write about him. When I turned in the article the editor said he liked it but he had one reservation: “You say, ‘In my opinion he was the greatest artist of his time.’ Do you mean that? Read more >>

A FAMOUS HISTORIAN RECALLS THE COUNTRY WHERE HE GREW UP

We lived in Indian summer and mistook it for spring. Winter lay ahead just when we thought June was on the way. The school, the town, and the people connected with both were coming to an end that seemed to be a beginning. Read more >>

THIRD OF FOUR INSTALLMENTS A FAMOUS HISTORIAN RECALLS THE COUNTRY WHERE HE GREW UP

This is how it was in the old days. A family that wanted to go from here to there went by railroad train because there was no other way to do it. Read more >>

SECOND OF FOUR INSTALLMENTS

A FAMOUS HISTORIAN RECALLS THE COUNTRY WHERE HE GREW UP

According to the Bible, a city that is set upon a hill cannot be hid. Read more >>

A FAMOUS HISTORIAN RECALLS THE COUNTRY WHERE HE GREW UP

First there was the ice; two miles high, hundreds of miles wide, and many centuries deep. It came down from the darkness at the top of the world, and it hung down over the eaves, and our Michigan country lay along the line of the overhang. Read more >>

A Brush with the Law & OTHER OFF-SEASON ADVENTURES, or

One summer brought excitement and glory to the young secretary of a political leader. How could he know that the next one would brim with tragedy?

An artist recalls his Midwestern home town and the poet who made it famous

I always felt at home in Edgar Lee Master᾿s quarters in the Chelsea Hotel. It was all so much like a Petersburg, Illinois, law office that I might have been back in Papa Smoot’s office overlooking the courthouse square. Read more >>

What was it like to actually be there in April, 1775?
This is how the participants, American and British, remembered it

AN AMERICAN HERITAGE ORIGINAL DOCUMENT
Edited and with an introduction