Skip to main content

New York

“I will leave this house only if I am dead,” the prominent New York doctor told his ex-wife, who was seeking half the value of their Manhattan townhouse in a divorce.

The World Trade Center attack wasn’t the first time New York was brutally assaulted — 225 years before, George Washington watched the city burn from his headquarters in northern Manhattan after painful military defeats.

Editor's note: Karin Abarbanel is the author of several nonfiction books. She grew up in Washington Heights just a few blocks from the Morris-Jumel Mansion.

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

Text to come.
Forty years ago a few rich kids hatched a nutty idea that became an event that rocked the nation, then morphed into a movement whose legacy lives on.

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

It was a disaster from the beginning

It was a very bad year for Andy Richardson.

. . . was a lot bigger than yours. Here’s why you should care.

It has been the received wisdom of the suburban age that kids grow up better in the country, where there is access to fresh air, trees, wildlife (although not too much of it, please), and other good things.

The town that has seen it all

The woman whose great-grandfather introduced pastrami to the New World explores an American institution that is as hard to define as it is easy to recognize

All along its 360-mile route, towns to which the canal gave birth are looking to its powerful ghost for economic revival.

As Hillary Clinton campaigns for a New York Senate seat, she’d do well to study the career of another effective outsider

New Yorkers knew they were in for a long, hot summer this year when Hillary Rodham Clinton made an early political foray into their state and was greeted by demonstrators whom the state GOP had urged to dress up as blackflies. One of Mrs.

A century and a half ago two young girls started hearing noises they said came from beyond the grave—and embarked on a lifetime career that began a national obsession with spiritualism that has lasted to this day

“I looked down at my foot,” Joseph Merrill said, “and saw a white substance the size of a golf ball. As I watched, that golf ball expanded and took features: arms and a head. It was a woman. She passed through me and through my friend Harry.

A walk with my great-grandfather through the last foreign country in New York City

A faded industrial town in upstate New York is home to one of the world’s greatest concert halls

Troy, New York, has always had its sleeves rolled up to its biceps. Lying along the Hudson River and part of a metropolitan area that includes both Albany, the state capital, and Schenectady, the city marks the Erie Canal’s eastern terminus.

CHARLES SAXON’S fond but clear-eyed cartoons are a definitive record of suburban life in the 1960s and ’70s

When his affluent neighbors in suburban Connecticut accused him of using them as characters in his New Yorker cartoons, Charles Saxon quickly assured them that he was “really satirizing himself.

THE FIRST ANNUAL AMERICAN HERITAGE GREAT AMERICAN PLACE AWARD

Photographs by ROBERT BENSON    

At the height of the American avant-garde movement, Fairfield Porter’s realistic paintings defied the orthodoxy of Abstract Expressionism— and risked rejection by the art world. But today his true stature is becoming apparent: He may just be the best we have.

 

THE IMPERIUM OF modern television advertising was born in desperate improvisation

It was 1945, and everybody needed everything. If you knew how to build a car, a house, or a washing machine, you could sell it faster than you could make it.

Amid a hundred mountains and a thousand lakes, a fascinating institution tells the story of America’s engagement with its Eastern wilderness

 

All across America there are restaurants that serve up the spirit and conviviality of eras long past

Mr. Henry Erkins had a flash of inspiration in 1908. He could see every detail of it in his mind.

ROBERT MOSES built small with the same imperial vigor as he built big, and at his behest the art of making scale-model cities reached its peak. The result still survives, and although few New Yorkers know about it, they can see their whole town—right down to their own houses or apartment buildings—perfectly reproduced.

THERE ARE FEW REMINDERS THAT TWO WORLD’S FAIRS were held in New York’s Flushing Meadow.

A HALF-CENTRY AGO Harry Dubin bought his son a camera, and together they made a remarkable series of photographs of a city full of blue-collar workers—all of them Dubin

WILL ROGERS MAY NEVER HAVE MET A MAN HE DIDN’T like, but Harry Dubin evidently never met one he didn’t like to be.

At a time when driving from Manhattan to Yonkers was a supreme challenge, a half-dozen cars pointed their radiators west and set out from Times Square for Paris

AS OF FEBRUARY 1908, ONLY NINE people had ever driven across the United States and no car had ever driven across Alaska. No car had driven across Japan.

What you owe your car (ending the tyranny of the horse is only the beginning of it)

THE AUTOMOBILE IS NOT AN AMERICAN invention. But an industry capable of manufacturing automobiles in vast numbers at prices the common man can afford most certainly is. And it is this invention that changed the world.

HISTORY’S MOST PHOTOGENIC LABOR dispute lasted thirty days, spread to eight cities, closed thirty-seven plays, and finally won performers some respect

 

HOW A NATION BORN OUT OF A TAX REVOLT has—and especially hasn’t—solved the problems of taxing its citizens

A BOLD NEW KIND OF COLLEGE COURSE BRINGS the student directly to the past, nonstop, overnight, in squalor and glory, for weeks on end

 

He may have been the greatest caricaturist of all time—he has imitators to this day—but his true passion was for a very different discipline

The trouble was, he couldn’t say no to anyone.

Seen in its proper historical context—amid the height of the Cold War—the investigation into Kennedy’s assassination looks much more impressive and its shortcomings much more understandable

Enjoy our work? Help us keep going.

Now in its 75th year, American Heritage relies on contributions from readers like you to survive. You can support this magazine of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it by donating today.

Donate