25 Years Ago

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. One of the stories around Chadds Ford was about a milk train he would meet and how he would help the farmers lift their enormous 10-gallon cans—one in each hand—up onto the platform beside the tracks. Read more »

50 Years Ago

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. —The Editors

From the war there is one story dear to my heart of which I have never written a line. There are reasons for this restraint: a promise once made; the unimportance of trying to be earnest about that which is ludicrous; and the blight of the passing years on faded notes. Read more »

"Oh Doctor, do what you can!"

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. Surgeon General when she came upon the long-lost report of Charles Leale, the doctor who treated the president on the night he was shot.

While Dr. Leale’s later testimony at a congressional hearing was known to historians, his original 21-page clinical report written the day after the assassination was missing. Read more »

Turned on by History

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.

For the 32nd year, middle and high school students from around the country competed in the National History Day competition, held this year at the University of Maryland. Read more »

Baltimore's "Sailabration" Honors the War of 1812

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.

“It’s finally here,” said Jeffrey Buchheit, director of the Baltimore Heritage Area and one of many who helped plan the week of festivities. “We’ve worked four years on this, and all of a sudden it’s here.” Read more »

Spring 2012 Books

1812: The Navy's War
By George C. Daughan
1812: The Navy’s War recounts the familiar tales of how American captains—men such as Stephen Decatur and Isaac Hull—bloodied the nose of Great Britain’s powerful navy.Read more »

The Fountain of Youth 500 Years Later

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 »

The New Mexico and Arizona Centennials

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.

What may seem today like a foregone conclusion about statehood was nothing of the kind at the turn of the 20th century. Fearing higher taxes, powerful railroad and mining interests lobbied hard against admission, while cattle barons fought to keep their free access to public lands. Citizens of both territories also didn’t appear particularly interested in statehood. Read more »

1940 Census Reveals the State of America 72 Years Ago

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. Franklin Roosevelt himself helped fill out the form claiming nine in a household that included personal secretary Marguerite “Missy” LeHand, one cousin, a governess, and four “Negro servants.” Read more »

Date of Event: 
Thursday, May 23, 1861