Who Was Wyatt Earp?

From law officer to murderer to Hollywood consultant: the strange career of a man who became myth

Late in his life Henry Fonda, at dinner with a producer named Melvin Shestack, recalled meeting an old man who said he had firsthand knowledge of a memorable Fonda character, Wyatt Earp, the legendary frontier lawman of John Ford’s classic My Darling Clementine .Read more »

The Overlord Embroidery

A vast tribute in cloth to the victors of D-day is good art, good history—and surprisingly affecting

In the ancient seafaring town of Portsmouth, England, overlooking the English Channel, stands the D-Day Museum. This June it will be at the center of ceremonies commemorating the forty-fifth anniversary of the day when Allied troops—many of them embarked from this port—breached Hitler’s Fortress Europe. The museum is full of telling exhibits, but most impressive by far is the Overlord Embroidery, which tells the story of the Normandy landing in glowing fabric. Read more »

Indians In The Land

Did the Indians have a special, almost noble, affinity with the American environment—or were they despoilers of it? Two historians of the environment explain the profound clash of cultures between Indians and whites that has made each group almost incomprehensible to the other.

When the historian Richard White wrote his first scholarly article about Indian environmental history in the mid-1970s, he knew he was taking a new approach to an old field, but he did not realize just how new it was. “I sent it to a historical journal,” he reports, “and I never realized the U.S. mail could move so fast. It was back in three days. The editor told me it wasn’t history.” Read more »

The Unexpected Mrs. Stowe

Harriet Beecher Stowe, an extraordinary member of an extraordinary family, always claimed that God wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin

She had been brought up to make herself useful. And always it suited her. Read more »

Firebrand Of The Revolution

For ten tumultuous years Sam Adams burned with a single desire: American independence from Great Britain.

Members of the British Parliament who voted approval of the Stamp Act late one night in 1765 and went yawning off to bed had never heard, it would seem, of Boston’s “Man of the Town Meeting,” Samuel Adams. It was a fatal lapse. From that moment until the Declaration of Independence, Sam Adams pounced on Britain every time she moved to impose her will on the colonies. He made politics his only profession and rebellion his only business. He drove two royal governors out of Massachusetts and goaded the British government into open war.

Vinland The Good Emerges From The Mists

AMERICAN HERITAGE takes part in announcing an astonishing discovery at Yale—the earliest map ever found that shows any part of America. Traced to a copyist in Basel about 1440 A.D., it shows, long before Columbus, the New World lands discovered by the Norsemen. Authenticated by painstaking scholarly detective work at Yale and the British Museum, it opens the door to tantalizing historical speculations

History, like an iceberg, lies mostly submerged, hidden from our sight; only rarely, through some strange upset, does a forgotten portion of it suddenly rise up and give us a glimpse backward through the mists of time.Read more »

N. C. Wyeth

The great illustrator found giants in clouds and inspiration in the classics of fiction and history. And, like old Charles Willson Peale, he founded and trained a dynasty of fine artists

The spreading power of a great illustrator’s work can be beyond calculation; it is an imponderable force that works in hidden ways and eludes attempts at measurement. So it certainly has been in the case of N. C. Wyeth. He was an unmistakable personality, a man of enormous energy and great talent. He possessed a breath-taking imagination, constant and grand, which he poured into a series of dynamic pictures. He illustrated most of the great children’s classics, with fire that kindled sparks in tens of thousands of young minds.

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Sergt. Bates March

Carrying the Stars & Stripes unfurled, from Vicksburg to Washington, and Gretna Green to London

Tuesday, April 14, 1868, was a busy day in Washington, D.C. In the Senate the impeachment trial of President Johnson was in full swing, with one of the newspapers urging parents to keep children away from the sessions lest they be corrupted by the “rude manners” of some of the legislators. In the House a committee was investigating the transfer to private hands of an island acquired from Russia and said to be rich with fur-bearing seal.
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Crisis At The Antietam

Upon the clash of arms near a little Maryland creek hung the slave’s freedom and the survival of the Union

A whitewashed Dunker chrch without a steeple, a forty-acre field of corn that swayed, head-high and green, in the September sun, an eroded country lane that rambled along a hillside behind a weathered snake-rail fence, and an arched stone bridge that crossed a lazy, copper-brown little creek—these unimpressive features of a quiet Maryland landscape made the setting in which one of the greatest moments of crisis in American history came to a solution on the bloody day of September 17, 1862.

 
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Herbert Hoover Describes The Ordeal Of Woodrow Wilson

The great tragedy of the twenty-eighth President as witnessed by his loyal lieutenant, the thirty-first

A third of a century since his defeat and death, most of the passion that surrounded Woodrow Wilson in life is spent. Nearly all his friends and contemporaries have left the scene, and a world resounding to fresh agonies catches only echoes of the crusade that failed and of the opportunity cast aside at the close of the “war to end wars.” But the figure of the crusader himself, the unlikely St.Read more »