Features

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

In 1942, Congress and the Administration debated cancelling the famous gridiron match-up between Army and Navy because of wartime gas rationing. President Roosevelt found a novel solution.

In the weeks after Pearl Harbor, the Japanese conquered most of the areas of Southeast Asia that produced rubber and cut off supply to the U.S. Read more >>

Working closely with President Lincoln, Secretary of War Stanton was indefatigable in laboring to win the Civil War. But his abruptness could sometimes be counterproductive.

Members of the Maryland Forces guard memories of a dramatic history at Fort Frederick, the best preserved fort from the former English colonies in America. 

As I drove through the Maryland woods to old Fort Freder Read more >>

The modern version of an African-American spiritual has helped draw together people fighting for a better life

At Fisk Universit Read more >>

New evidence reveals that John Kennedy worked tirelessly for four years to win the White House, much longer than Theodore White and other historians had thought. It was the first modern campaign for President.

Charles Overby, founding CEO of the Newseum in Washington, D.C., recently interviewed long-time political reporters for the Boston Globe, Tom Oliphant and Curtis Wilkie, about revelations they uncovered in researching their new book about John F. Read more >>

Once the most famous Chinese dish in America, chop suey helped spur the growth of Chinese restaurants. A Smithsonian curator is now criss-crossing the country to research its beginnings. 

Sir Arthur Clarke predicted that a revolution in communications would bring electronic mail, telecommuting, the Internet, and inexpensive long distance calls in a seminal but forgotten 1962 essay, published by American Heritage more than half a century ago.

Today, Arthur Clarke is remembered as a writer of science fiction and the screenplay for the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey. But Clarke was also a serious futurist and one of the first writers to suggest that rockets could be used for communication, not just military purposes. Read more >>

Veeck changed baseball forever, integrating the American League in 1949 and creating a variety of stunts and promotions to bring more fans to the stadium.

Entering the friendly confines of Wrigley Field in Chicago, a first-time visitor cannot help but be struck by the panorama of ivy-covered brick outfield walls, the traditional manually operated scoreboard, and an overall scale and proportion that seems perfect for baseball. Read more >>

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 >>

Desperate to win a major victory in 1864, the South suffered one of the bloodiest days of the Civil War at the now often-forgotten battle of Franklin.

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

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.

Text to come Read more >>

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.

It has been called one of the most consequential debates in American history. The Revolution's greatest orator later 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. His wife Martha later thought the bitterness of the debate may have hastened the President’s death, but Washington gave America the gift of peace, and an important precedent in leadership.

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 >>