American History1 min letti
American History Online Exclusives
Visit Historynet.com/American-History and search for online-only stories like these: A law meant to guard women wound up a cudgel against adulterers and men on the FBI blacklist. bit.ly/WhiteSlaveryLawWasLame How an ‘ill-armed peasantry’ crushed Clin
American History10 min lettiAmerican Government
Splitting States
As 1819 was becoming 1820, William King should have been celebrating. After a 35-year struggle to cleave from Massachusetts, the District of Maine, King’s home turf, was about to become a state. One of Maine’s richest shipbuilders—he was known as “th
American History1 min letti
American History
MICHAEL A. REINSTEIN CHAIRMAN & PUBLISHER DAVID STEINHAFEL PUBLISHER ALEX NEILL EDITOR IN CHIEF MICHAEL DOLAN EDITOR NANCY TAPPAN SENIOR EDITOR SARAH RICHARDSON SENIOR EDITOR STEPHEN KAMIFUJI CREATIVE DIRECTOR BRIAN WALKER GROUP ART DIRECTOR JON C BO
American History2 min lettiAmerican Government
Mountain Memories
The latest standout on local libraries’ RFK lists is All This Marvelous Potential, in which Matthew Algeo focuses on two days in 1968 that Senator Robert F. Kennedy (D-New York) spent in Eastern Kentucky. This is not simply a blow-by-blow of 48 hours
American History4 min lettiPolitics
Mosaic
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has made a five-year, $250 million commitment to fund monuments on the American landscape relating to social justice. According to The New York Times, the foundation previously put $5 million into Montgomery, Alabama’s
American History2 min letti
Windy City, Polish City
On one of the first pages of American Warsaw, Dominica A. Pacyga declares, “Polish Chicago and Polish America cannot be understood without understanding Polish history.” The author takes this idea very seriously. He has filled his incredibly detailed
American History1 min letti
Contributors
Freelanc writer Stephanie Bouchard (“Splitting States,” p. 58) lives on the Maine coast. She tweets as @SBouchardME and posts at stephaniebouchard.net. This is her first piece for the magazine. Paul Dickson (“Your Number Came Up,” p. 40) writes about
American History2 min lettiPolitics
Conflicted States Of America
No major conflict in American history can match the Civil War for generating controversy. The common view holds that the Confederacy owed its brief existence to men bent on maintaining White supremacy and preserving slavery. Defenders of the Old Sout
American History2 min letti
Letters
As a retired Marine, I enjoyed the August issue and its articles about Colonel Robert Taplett and Senator Joseph McCarthy. The colonel’s assignment in Utah was not in “Clearview” but Clearfield. After the Navy closed shop this barracks depot eventual
American History2 min letti
Brilliantly Bogus
Showman P. T. Barnum did not say “There’s a sucker born every minute,” but that miscredited aphorism economically sums up Evelyn Wood and her enterprise, Reading Dynamics. An avatar of “speed reading,” Wood achieved fortune, fame, and infamy. Her bog
American History4 min lettiAmerican Government
Talking Alone About Working Together
Robert D. Putnam is the Malkin Research Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University. He has won every major scholarly honor in his profession. In 2013 President Barack Obama awarded him the National Humanities Medal for “deepening our understand
American History2 min letti
Cartographers To Cowboys
In Dreams, H.W. Brands seats the reader in canoes and prairie schooners among the stalwarts who explored and settled the American West. In powerfully evocative prose, the best-selling author of Traitor to His Class and The Age of Gold tells how Ameri
American History5 min lettiAmerican Government
Collegiate Conundrum
2020 is the 59th American presidential election year. Since the first, in 1789, every candidate has undertaken to win a majority in the Electoral College. This small body—membership is now 535 persons—materializes briefly every four years and, despit
American History1 min letti
Highland Park…
…in northeast Los Angeles, California’s San Rafael hills, once was home to the Chumash and Tongva peoples. In colonial times, the vicinity became 36,000-acre Rancho San Rafael, granted in 1784 by Spain to Corporal Jose Maria Verdugo. Auctioned in 186
American History5 min letti
Chief Stock In Trade: Smut
Anthony Comstock always dressed in black and white: black suit and shoes, starched white shirt, black bow tie—except at Christmas, when he replaced the black tie with a white one. Comstock saw the world in black and white, good and evil. You worked f
American History5 min lettiCrime & Violence
Roadway To Realism
Forging functional constitutional details for the government they were forming, the Founders gave one issue little discussion: virtually all agreed that when a citizen of one state had a legal dispute with a citizen of another state, the party of the
American History5 min lettiPolitics
Dollars And Sense
In 1862, an Anglo-Irish political economist and abolitionist locked horns with Confederate lobbyists trying to formalize ties with Britain, the world’s leading industrial power. The United Kingdom was the main market for the 2-to-3 million bales of c
American History13 min lettiPolitics
Explosive Election
Among pivotal American episodes, the 1800 election occupies a central place. That race, labeled by Thomas Jefferson “the Revolution of 1800,” introduced to the world the modern political campaign as well as the peaceful transfer of power in a nation-
American History12 min letti
Camp Follower
Catching sight of Quebec, Baroness Frederika Charlotte Riedesel felt her heart pound. Early on that Wednesday morning—June 11, 1777—the baroness spied from aboard ship a cluster of stone buildings perching on a hilltop between rivers named for Saints
American History2 min letti
Pitching In
Wives following common soldiers in 18th-century armies lived very differently from their aristocratic counterparts with ties to the officer corps. They got army rations, but had to work for them, performing odd jobs. Cooking and sewing was usually a
American History11 min letti
“Your Number Came Up!”
For many mid-20th century Americans, October 16, 1940, was and is R-Day—the date on which all men between ages 21 and 45 were required to register for the draft. As men were forming long lines at registration facilities, President Franklin Roosevelt
American History12 min lettiPolitics
Run From The Shadows
Wracked with dread on a wintry Tuesday evening in 1873, U.S. Representative James A. Garfield retreated to the pages of his diary. “At 11 o’clock went before the Credit Mobilier Investigating Committee and made a statement of what I know concerning t
American History2 min lettiFinance & Money Management
A Credit Mobilier Primer
In passing the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862, Congress intended to promote construction of the transcontinental railroad with $48,000 in government-backed bonds and 6,400 acres in land grants for every mile of track laid. Despite the proffered federal
American History1 min letti
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American History4 min lettiMedical
Infection Hunter
“Infectious disease is one of the few adventures left in the world,” wrote Hans Zinsser in his 1935 work Rats, Lice, and History. For medical adventurer Rupert Blue, such a chance beckoned in San Francisco in 1900. After a few deaths from plague came
American History1 min letti
American History online Exclusives
Visit Historynet.com/AmericanHistory and search for online-only stories like these: When Hollywood first tried to deal with nuclear war, the result was a militaristic mess. bit.ly/BlessTheBomb Eight American invasion attempts in 1812-14 did nothing b
American History11 min letti
Puritan. Patriot. Protester.
On the evening of August 25, 1765, Thomas Hutchinson, chief justice and lieutenant governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, was having supper with his family in their three-story mansion in Boston’s North End. Mid-meal, a friend burst in to war
American History1 min letti
American History
MICHAEL A. REINSTEIN CHAIRMAN & PUBLISHER DAVID STEINHAFEL PUBLISHER ALEX NEILL EDITOR IN CHIEF MICHAEL DOLAN EDITOR NANCY TAPPAN SENIOR EDITOR SARAH RICHARDSON SENIOR EDITOR STEPHEN KAMIFUJI CREATIVE DIRECTOR BRIAN WALKER GROUP ART DIRECTOR JON C. B
American History10 min letti
Atoms for Peace, Explosively
At 10 a.m. local time on July 6, 1962, a quiet stretch of Nevada desert near Las Vegas erupted in violence. The ground shook and bulged skyward almost 300 feet, then exploded in a blast that kicked up more than 12 million tons of soil. The resulting
American History1 min letti
Canceled
Vestiges of the Confederacy, from statuary to the secessionist battle flag, have long been fixtures on the American landscape. Along with monuments, schools, streets, and highways, at least 10 U.S. military bases bear Confederate figures’ names. In A
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