Departments

As high school librarian, I am so pleased about your efforts to save American Heritage.  I have always recommended it to our American History students.  Read more >>

It's critical to focus on history and civics education in our schools in order to have a well-informed citizenry.

It is painful to see a state such as Massachusetts — so central to our Nation's past — plan to cut back even more on the teaching of American history. Read more >>
"Be happy with simple pleasures," advised Laura Ingalls Wilder, "and have courage when things go wrong.”  Hopefully, that good advice is followed by the historical groups trying to keep alive her memory.   Read more >>

A special issue of American Heritage offers excerpts from seven books nominated for the prestigious George Washington Prize.

We can feel great satisfaction in the quality of historical scholarship being published today, considering the seven books nominated for this year's George Washington Book Prize. Each of the seven in its own way is an important contribution to the large body of writing about the Founding Era. Read more >>

The Trump Administration has proposed massive cuts to history programs whose mission is to teach Americans what made their country great

During the Obama Administration, it seemed that one of the few things that Congressional Republicans and the White House could agree upon was cutting history programs. Read more >>

The author was a high school football player when a junior coach from West Point tried to recruit him. Years later the player discovered who the now-famous coach was, and learned a valuable lesson. 

We celebrate one of America's greatest historians with an anthology of his writing.

“No one ever wrote American history with more easy grace, beauty, and emotional power or greater understanding of its meaning than Bruce Catton,” writes Oliver Jensen, the former editor of American Heritage, in his introduction. Read more >>

Congress has agreed on something: designating a National Museum and Library for George Marshall. Now it's the Senate's turn.

Historian David McCullough tells a story about teaching an honors seminar to 25 history majors at Dartmouth College. When he asked the students if they knew who George Marshall was, nobody raised their hand. Read more >>

Andrew Wyeth Reflects on His Father, the Artist N. C. Wyeth

My father was a very robust, powerfully built man. But strangely enough, his hands were delicate. Read more >>

Historian S. L. A. Marshall Tells How He and “Papa” Hemingway Liberated Paris

Ernest Hemingway told a wonderful story about his liberation of Paris. He claimed he was one of the first to enter the city, taking over the bars at the Crillon and Ritz hotels. Famed World War II historian S.L.A. Marshall corroborated Hemingway’s account in American  Heritage. Read more >>

First Medical Report on Lincoln's Assassination Uncovered

It was the discovery of a lifetime. Helena Iles Papaioannou, a researcher with the Papers of Abraham Lincoln project, was meticulously combing through 1865 correspondence of the U.S. Read more >>

More than 2,000 students from around the country competed in the 32nd annual celebration of history, held this year at the University of Maryland.

The room was abuzz. More than 2,000 young historians milled about, setting up exhibits featuring Harvey Milk, Charlie Chaplin, and hundreds more. Read more >>

Tall ships and U.S. Navy vessels sailed into Baltimore Harbor past Fort McHenry to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812

Square-riggers, schooners, and sleek gray warships from around the world converged on Baltimore the second week of June for the “Star Spangled Sailabration” commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812’s start. Read more >>
Unlikely Friendship Read more >>
1812: The Navy's War By George C. Daughan   Read more >>
Many plans are afloat to commemorate the 1513 landing of explorer Ponce de León in Florida.  He was said to be looking for the fountain of youth, but instead found a land so full of springtime flowers that he named it “La Florida.”  Read more >>

A 62-year-long quest for statehood ended on January 6, 1912.

On January 6, 1912, New Mexico became a state, followed 39 days later by Arizona. A 62-year-long quest for statehood—the longest in U.S. history—had finally ended. Read more >>

Over 3.9 million images of the 1940 U.S. Census are now available online at the National Archives website and Archives.com

The director of the Census Bureau doesn’t often pay house calls for census enumeration, but in the spring of 1940 William Austin stopped by the White House to find out who was home. Read more >>

J.R. Clifford fought his real battles in the courtroom

My paternal grandfather, Edward St. Lawrence Gates, was buried on July 2, 1960. After the burial my father showed my brother and me scrapbooks that his father had kept. Within the pages of those scrapbooks was an obituary of my great-great-grandmother, a slave named Jane Gates. Read more >>
Lighting the Hunley Read more >>
We are delighted to welcome an old friend back into our pages. Read more >>

Hist-ineers, terra-tives and mobi-sodes: Get ready for the brave new world of history on the really small screen.

Can serious history be presented on a cell phone? Handheld devices such as BlackBerrys, iPhones, and other smart phones (and even some not-so-smart) can play video, access the Internet, and display Google maps nearly as well as larger computers. Read more >>

After 65 years, the archives of FDR’s personal secretary are now open to the public

On June 30, 2010, 14 boxes containing a treasure trove of more than 5,000 personal letters, notes, and photographs from the Roosevelt administration and his family arrived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, New York. Read more >>
Like the Mississippi, the flood of books on the Adams family rolls on; and indeed its crest, now that the long-barred portals to the family papers in the Massachusetts Historical Society have been unlocked, still lies ahead of us. Read more >>

Free Passes to a Movie Milestone

One of the benefits of having a grandfather who was a former mayor of Boston, John F. (“Honey Fitz”) Fitzgerald, was that he had free passes to interesting events. Just by paying the tax on a baseball ticket, I could get into a Red Sox or a Braves game. Read more >>

THE END OF MUSSOLINI, CAPTURED UNEXPECTEDLY

In December of 1942 I was drafted and sent overseas to Oran, Algeria, where I was assigned to the 91st Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron. The eyes and ears for the troops, we rode in jeeps, armored cars, and light tanks, scouting the numbers and supplies of the enemy forces. Read more >>

FRANKLIN FLIES A KITE

In June of 1752, in Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin performed what  may be the most famous scientific experiment of all time by flying a kite in a thunderstorm. In so doing, he verified his theory that lightning is a form of electricity. Read more >>
Bernard A. Weisberger’s well-balanced look at the Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings story (“In the News,” November 1997) led me to wonder anew at both the staying power and the meaning of this tale. Just what is it that is so scandalous here? Read more >>

The guitar pickin' kid called himself Elvis Presley

As a teenager I liked the sound of guitar music, and I practiced until I was fairly proficient at picking out tunes. Later I got an electric guitar, and lots of noise became my best creation, musically. Read more >>