Skip to main content


March 2023
1min read

These days I am usually the first one awake in the morning. I wake up at six-thirty. And the first thing I do when I open my eyes is smile, and then I say, “Thank you, Lord, for another day!” If I don’t hear Bessie get up, I’ll go into her room and wake her. Sometimes I have to knock on her headboard. And she opens her eyes and says, “Oh, Lord, another day?” I don’t think Bessie would get up at all sometimes if it weren’t for me.

In the mornings, Monday through Friday, we do our yoga exercises. I started doing yoga exercises with Mama about forty years ago. Mama was starting to shrink up and get bent down, and I started exercising with her to straighten her up again. Only I didn’t know at the time that what we were actually doing was yoga. We just thought we were exercising. I kept doing my yoga exercises even after Mama died. Well, when Bessie turned eighty, she decided that I looked better than her. So she decided she would start doing yoga too.

These days I do most of the cooking, and Bessie does the serving. We eat our big meal of the day at noon. In the evening we usually have a milk shake for dinner, and then we go upstairs and watch “MacNeil/Lehrer” on the television.

After that we say our prayers. It takes a long time to pray for everyone, because it’s a very big family: We have fifteen nieces and nephews still living, plus all their children and grandchildren. We pray for each one, living and dead. The ones that Bessie doesn’t approve of get extra prayers.

We hope you enjoy our work.

Please support this 72-year tradition of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.


Stories published from "October 1993"

Authored by: Russell Baker

Is the kind of humor popular today another symptom of the general erosion of civil discourse? Maybe, says a man who has spent a good deal of his life being funny; but more likely it’s just a vigorous breeze from the American frontier.

Authored by: The Editors

Chocolate Diet

Authored by: The Editors

October Surprise

Authored by: John Steele Gordon


Authored by: The Editors

The ebb and flow of tooth and claw, fifty miles from Times Square

Authored by: Fredric Smoler

A long-time Republican-party insider and close student of its past discusses how the party has changed over the years—for better and for worse —and where it may be headed.

Authored by: The Editors

Two extraordinary sisters tell their story—a quiet epic that began in slavery days and isn’t over yet

Authored by: Wilfrid Sheed

They headed West from Broadway and Tin Pan Alley in the late 1920s, griped and groused when they reached Hollywood, and spent decades there producing the greatest outpouring of song America has ever known

Authored by: Gene Smith

He told Lincoln he was better than any other officer on the field at Bull Run and got the Army’s top job. He built a beaten force into a proud one and stole a march on Robert E. Lee with it. He was twenty-four hours away from winning the Civil War. Then he fell apart.

Featured Articles

Famous writers including Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, and the Alcotts turned Sleepy Hollow Cemetery into our country’s first conservation project.

Native American peoples and the lands they possessed loomed large for Washington, from his first trips westward as a surveyor to his years as President.

In his Second Inaugural Address, Abraham Lincoln embodied leading in a time of polarization, political disagreement, and differing understandings of reality.

A hundred years ago, America was rocked by riots, repression, and racial violence.

During Pres. Washington’s first term, an epidemic killed one tenth of all the inhabitants of Philadelphia, then the capital of the young United States.

Now a popular state park, the unassuming geological feature along the Illinois River has served as the site of centuries of human habitation and discovery.  

The recent discovery of the hull of the battleship Nevada recalls her dramatic action at Pearl Harbor and ultimate revenge on D-Day as the first ship to fire on the Nazis.

Our research reveals that 19 artworks in the U.S. Capitol honor men who were Confederate officers or officials. What many of them said, and did, is truly despicable.

Here is probably the most wide-ranging look at Presidential misbehavior ever published in a magazine.

When Germany unleashed its blitzkreig in 1939, the U.S. Army was only the 17th largest in the world. FDR and Marshall had to build a fighting force able to take on the Nazis, against the wishes of many in Congress.

Roast pig, boiled rockfish, and apple pie were among the dishes George and Martha enjoyed during the holiday in 1797. Here are some actual recipes.

Born during Jim Crow, Belle da Costa Greene perfected the art of "passing" while working for one of the most powerful men in America.