60th Anniversary Issue

Volume 59
Issue 4


A bold dream to connect the Hudson to the Great Lakes by canal created a transportation revolution

Badly disguised as Indians, a rowdy group of patriotic vandals kicked a revolution into motion

In one momentous decision, Robert E. Lee spared the United States years of divisive violence

As much as nine-tenths of the indigenous population of the Americas died in less than a generation from European pathogens

Inventor Nikola Tesla turned to an old trick to sell the brilliant concept of alternating current, which would enable the electrical power grid and the modern machines that run off it

Critical decisions by the Chief Justice saved the Supreme Court’s independence—and made possible its wide-ranging role today

No one knew that oil could come from the ground until a bankrupt group of speculators hit pay dirt in northwestern Pennsylvania

A magazine reporter covered the first American deaths in Vietnam, unaware that the soon-to-explode war would mark America’s awakening to maturity

Eisenhower's call to proceed with D-Day was anything but inevitable

Although a draw, the fight between the Monitor and Virginia decisively ushered in the modern era

When the Palmetto State threatened to nullify federal statutes at will, President Jackson met it with tough rhetoric and threat of force -- and postponed the Civil War for three decades.

Only by luck and happenstance did Britain’s first permanent settlement in the New World survive

Forty seven years ago, the president wrote for American Heritage that the study of history is no mere pastime but the means by which a nation establishes its sense of identity and purpose

During demonstrations in Birmingham, Martin Luther King Jr. took perhaps the most fateful decision made during the civil rights era

A diminutive, persuasive Virginian hijacked the Constitutional Convention and forced the moderates to accept a national government with vastly expanded powers

Spain’s attack on Fort Caroline and brutal slaughter of its inhabitants ended France’s colonial interests on the East Coast

More than a million children participated in the Salk poliomyelitis vaccine trials of 1954, the largest public health experiment in American History

The British seize Manhattan from the Dutch—and alter the trajectory of North American history

In 1917, fed up with the inaction of conservative suffragists, Alice Paul decided on the unorthodox strategy of pressuring the president directly

A Great Lakes Indian rebellion against the British changed the balance forever between Indian and colonist

Practical rather than idealistic reasons pushed President Kennedy to challenge America to land a man on the moon within the decade

Only hours after being sworn in, Lincoln faced the most momentous decision in presidential history

In only minutes, Union guns at Gettysburg silenced the Confederacy's bold invasion of the North

In the teeth of near defeat, Gen. George Washington pulled out miraculous mid-winter victories

Banker J. P. Morgan rescued the dollar and bailed out the nation

Alexander Graham Bell was able to invent the telephone after Watson tweaked a reed that transmitted sounds to the next room

World War I marked the first time that U.S. soldiers would sail east to decide a major European war

The telegraph was an even more dramatic innovation in its day than the Internet

While lauded for their 1903 flight, the Wright brothers were not convinced of their airplane’s reliability to sustain long, controlled flights until October 1905

Lincoln’s bid for reelection in 1864 faced serious challenges from a popular opponent and a nation weary of war

Civil War Chronicles 

Lincoln’s oration at New York’s Cooper Union showed that the prairie lawyer could play in the...