Features

Ike’s son, historian John Eisenhower, recalls attending meetings with the British wartime leader and reflects on his character and accomplishments.

She operated as FDR's de facto chief-of-staff, yet Missy LeHand's role has been misrepresented and overlooked by historians.

Franklin D. Read more >>

The Statue of Liberty has been glorified, romanticized, trivialized, and over-publicized. But the meaning of “Liberty Enlightening the World” is still everything. 

It’s size alone no doubt would have been enough to guarantee the Statue of Liberty affection right from the start in 1886, the year it was completed. Bigger was surely better in the eyes of most American beholders in that expansive era. Read more >>

On its way to gold fields in Montana, the riverboat sank in the Missouri and its hull and cargo eventually covered with mud. The author helped recover more than 200,000 Civil War-era artifacts from the remains of the Bertrand after they were found in a Nebraska cornfield.

Caroline Millard and Mary Atchison, two young mothers each with two young children, were worried as they boarded the steamboat Bertrand at Omaha's bustling waterfront on the Missouri River. Read more >>

Cowhands careless with branding irons invited a fatal attack of lead poisoning or the nether end of a rope.

Text to come Read more >>

A magnificent historical center portrays the heroic tale of the Lone Star State.

text to come Read more >>

Their trails pioneered new frontiers and colored the social, political and economic pattern of a nation.

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This quiet Hudson River city became the "cradle of New York State."

Text to come. Read more >>

Its peculiarly local exuberance is nourished by rare traditions and an untamed individualism.

This Is Texas. Improbable event, incredible success, unprofitable loyalty, colossal hardship, heart-breaking failure went into its making. Read more >>

A longtime contributor and former editor introduces the special anniversary issue

READERS, I HAVE THE honor of introducing this birthday banquet of essays on critical moments in our nation's story by some of its ablest current thinkers. I even get to follow on the distinguished heels of President John F. Read more >>

The notorious voice of Japanese propaganda during World War II was a former Girl Scout who graduated from UCLA.

“Hello you fighting orphans in the Pacific, how’s tricks?” The young female radio announcer greeted GIs with American slang as they tuned into the Japanese radio during the Pacific War. “Reception okay? Why, it better be, because this is All-Requests night. Read more >>
"TORA TORA, TORA" was the code the Japanese pilots who bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, used to signal their mission’s success. Focusing on the attack on the U.S. Read more >>
The Civil War’s dramatic events have been at the core of American classics for the past century, beginning with D. W. Read more >>

Hollywood has had a long and rocky relationship with the American Indian.

Hollywood has had a long and rocky relationship with the American Indian. It has treated him with a fickle mix of sentimentality, sympathy, savagery, and superficiality. Read more >>

In a skirmish on Maryland's Eastern Shore, local militia stood up to the British army and delayed the attack on Baltimore. 

The oft forgotten Battle of Caulk’s Field took place in the night of August 30, lasting into the early morning hours of Aug. 31, 1814, sandwiched in the week between the burning of Washington and the attack on Fort McHenry. Read more >>

When the Army arrested a chief of the Ponca Tribe in 1878 for leaving their reservation, he sued the Federal government and won —the first time courts recognized that a Native American had legal rights.

In the village of Niobrara, the tiny Ponca tribe operates a museum in a one-story community center covered with dark-brown shingles and white trim. Read more >>

It has been called one of the most consequential debates in American history. The Revolution's greatest orator fought to stop ratification of the Constitution because of his worries about powers proposed for the Federal government

Under the Articles of Confederation, these United States were barely united. Unable to agree on either foreign or domestic policy, they sank into economic depression. In May 1787, delegates from twelve states (Rhode Island sent none) arrived in Philadelphia to define a new federal government. Read more >>

Is telling a good story more important than historical accuracy?

Nothing makes me crazier than being asked to identify “best” and “worst” in movies involving history. It’s all too easy to decide “historically accurate” equals “best” and “historically inaccurate” equals “worst.” A movie isn’t a textbook! Read more >>

In his second term, George Washington faced a crisis that threatened to tear apart the young Republic.

In August 1795, at Mount Vernon, as the rains pelted his red shingle roof, spinning the dove-of-peace weathervane, George Washington bent over his candlelit desk, dipped a quill in black ink and tensely scratched out letter after letter. Read more >>

The author took part in the first night combat with Japanese bombers. In that dramatic action, he witnessed the loss of Butch O'Hare, the famous World War II ace for whom O’Hare Airport was named.

By 1943, the war was moving fast—new carriers, new airplane squadrons—and in November our air group, commanded by Lt. Comdr. Edward “Butch” O’Hare, was loaded aboard ship for the Pacific Theater. Read more >>

 

Alexander Graham Bell traveled to Italy at the turn of the 20th century on an audacious mission to rescue the remains of the man whose legacy endowed the Smithsonian Institution.

Alexander Graham Bell did not spend the Christmas season of 1903 in the festive tradition. On the contrary, the inventor of the telephone passed the holiday engaged in a ghoulish Italian adventure involving a graveyard, old bones, and the opening of a moldy casket. Read more >>

A largely accidental battle, pitting Robert E. Lee against George B. McClellan, became the single deadliest day in America's history and changed the course of the Civil War.

The day of Antietam—September 17, 1862 — was like no other day of the Civil War. “The roar of the infantry was beyond anything conceivable to the uninitiated,” wrote a Union officer who fought there. Read more >>

In Florida during the 1830s a young Indian warrior led a bold and bloody campaign against the government's plan to relocate his people west of the Mississippi River

The story of Osceola and the Great Seminole War in Florida seems so fantastic at times that it is hard to believe it is all true. Read more >>

Seventy-five years ago the "first lady of the air" vanished over the Pacific Ocean attempting to circumnavigate the globe. Today there may be renewed hope of solving the mystery.

At 9 A.M. on the morning of Tuesday March 20, 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton stepped to a
 podium in the State Department’s Benjamin Franklin Dining Room and addressed a roomful of reporters, federal officials, and a sprinkling of female military aviators. Read more >>

The noted writer and educator tells of his boyhood in the West Virginia town of Piedmont, where African Americans were second-class citizens but family pride ran deep.

You wouldn’t know Piedmont anymore—my Piedmont, I mean—the town in West Virginia where I learned to be a colored boy. Read more >>

The author, who once served under General Patton and whose father, Dwight D. Eisenhower, was Patton's commanding officer, shares his memories of "Ol' Blood and Guts"

On the morning of December 19, 1944, General Dwight D. Eisenhower strode into the gloomy school building in Verdun that housed the main headquarters of General Omar Bradley’s Twelfth Army Group. He had called a meeting of all the senior commanders under Bradley. Read more >>

Aaron Burr's 1807 trial challenged the Constitution

In late March 1807 Aaron Burr arrived in Richmond, Virginia, in a vile mood, filthy and stinking. He had just endured a month of hard travel under heavy guard through the dense forests of the Southeast. Read more >>

Notes about the famous historian and American Heritage editor

For decades, Yale history professor David Blight, an award-winning author and a preeminent scholar of the Civil War, has studied the legacy of Bruce Catton, the historian/writer who significantly shaped our understanding of the Civil War by bringing it into exhilarating, memorable relief thro Read more >>

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. Read more >>

New England industrialists hired thousands of young farm girls to work together in early textile mills—and spawned a host of unintended consequences

In June 1833 President Andrew Jackson, visiting the brand-new factory town of Lowell, Massachusetts, watched as 2,500 female mill workers marched past the balcony of his hotel. Read more >>