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U.S. Presidents

There have been 43 presidents. The youngest president was John F. Kennedy at age 43. The oldest was Ronald Reagan at age 69. Franklin D. Roosevelt served the longest, serving four terms (he died in his 4th term. The longest-serving president was Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died shortly into his fourth term in office. (The 22nd Amendment, ratified in 1951, limited to two the number of presidential terms one person could serve.) The shortest serving president was William Henry Harrison, who died from pneumonia after a month in office.

List of the United States Presidents By Date

George Washington (1789-97): George Washington is a well-known historical figure and was the first president of the United States of America after leading the Continental army in a victory for independence. Read more about George Washington.

John Adams (1797-1801): John Adams served as the vice president to George Washington before going on to become the second president of the United States of America. Later his son, John Quincy Adams was also president. Read more about John Adams.

Thomas Jefferson (1801-09): Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States of America and was responsible for the purchase of Louisiana. He served as president for two terms. Read more about Thomas Jefferson.

James Madison (1809-17): James Madison was the 4th president of the United States of America. He is often touted as the father of the Constitution because of the work he did on the Constitution. . Read more about James Madison.

James Monroe (1817-25)

John Quincy Adams (1825-29): John Quincy Adams was the son of John Adams who served as Washington’s vice president and as President. He was the sixth president of the United States. Read more about John Quincy Adams.

Andrew Jackson (1829-37): He was known as Old Hickory for his strength of character. Despite modern criticisms over his handling of the North American Indians and his pro-slavery stance, he is otherwise regarded as a great defender of democracy who kept America united over as difficult period of time. Read more about Andrew Jackson.

Martin Van Buren (1837-41)

William Henry Harrison (1841)

John Tyler (1841-45)

James K. Polk (1845-49)

Zachary Taylor (1849-50)

Millard Fillmore (1850-53)

Franklin Pierce (1853-57)

James Buchanan (1857-61)

Abraham Lincoln (1861-65): Abraham Lincoln led the nation through its most trying time, the civil war. A notable statesman and orator, he is one of the most popular presidents in history. He was assassinated by John WIlkes Boothe. Read more about Abraham Lincoln.

Andrew Johnson (1865-69): Andrew Johnson was the 17th president of the United States of America and born in 1808. He took over the presidency after Lincoln was shot and killed. Read more about Andrew Johnson.

Ulysses S. Grant (1869-77)

Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881)

James Garfield (1881)

Chester Arthur (1881-85)

Grover Cleveland (1885-89)

Benjamin Harrison (1889-93)

Grover Cleveland (1893-97)

William McKinley (1897-1901)

Theodore Roosevelt (1901-09): Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th president of the United States of America. He is known for his work on the Square Deal, on Environmental projects and for leading the Progressive Movement. Read more about Theodore Roosevelt.

William Howard Taft (1909-13)

Woodrow Wilson (1913-21): Woodrow Wilson was a president that had a successful agenda larger than most. His years in officer were from 1913-1921 and an important part of World War I. Read more about Woodrow Wilson.

Warren Harding (1921-23)

Calvin Coolidge (1923-29)

Herbert Hoover (1929-33): Herbert Hoover was the 31st president of the United States of America. Before becoming president he was head of the Food Administration. He was president during the Great Stock Market crash of 1929. Read more about Herbert Hoover.

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-45): After graduating from Harvard, Roosevelt went on to marry Eleanor and have 6 children. He served as Secretary of the Navy and Governor of New York before becoming President of the USA. Read more about Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Harry S. Truman (1945-53): Harry S. Truman became the President of the US after Roosevelt died in office and was re-elected for a second term. He made the decision to release the atomic bomb over Japan. Read more about Harry S. Truman.

Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-61): Eisenhower became the Chief Military in aid to General MacArthur and was elevated by Roosevelt to Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. He was successful with many strategies against Germany in WWII. Read more about Dwight D Eisenhower.

John F. Kennedy (1961-63): John F. Kennedy could perhaps be one of the most famous presidents the United States has had. On 11/22/1963 he was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald. Read more about John F. Kennedy.

Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-69): Lyndon Johnson or LBJ was the 36th president of the United States of America and started his term after JFK was assassinated in 1963. He helped with Medicare and Medicaid. Read more about Lyndon B. Johnson.

Richard Nixon (1969-74): Richard Nixon was the 37th president of the United States of America. Though he passed many important and necessary changes he is most known for the Watergate Scandal. Read more about Richard Nixon.

Gerald Ford (1974-77)

James Carter (1977-81)

Ronald Reagan (1981-89): Ronald Reagan was a fairly well-known actor before he ran and was elected for the President of the United States of America two terms in a row. Read more about Ronald Reagan.

George H.W. Bush (1989-93): George H. W. Bush was the 41st president of the Unite States and a Republican. During his presidency the Soviet Union dissolved, Suddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and Noriega lost dictatorship of Panama. Read more about George H.W. Bush.

William J. Clinton (1993-2001): Bill Clinton was the 42nd president of the United States of America and then served two terms. His wife, Hilary Clinton also serves as very important political figure. Read more about Bill Clinton.

George W. Bush (2001-09)

Barack Obama (2009- )


 

Articles Featuring US Presidents From History Net Magazines

Featured Article

1796: The First Real Election

1796: The First Real Election
1796: The First Real Election

WHEN GEORGE WASHINGTON ANNOUNCED
THAT HE WOULD RETIRE FROM OFFICE,
HE SET THE STAGEFOR THE NATION’S
FIRST TWO-PARTY PRESIDENTIALCAMPAIGN.

 

On the day in April 1789 that he took the oath of office at Federal Hall in New York City as the first president of the United States, George Washington noted in his diary: "I bade adieu to Mount Vernon, to private life, and to domestic felicity, and with a mind oppressed with more anxious and painful sensations than I have words to express."

Washington, who embodied the virtues exalted by his generation, had been given the unanimous vote of the new nation’s electors. He had done nothing to promote himself as a candidate for the presidency and had agreed to undertake the mammoth task with the utmost reluctance. Whatever his personal misgivings, Washington’s first term in office went smoothly. It was so successful, in fact, that in 1792 he once again received the electors’ unanimous endorsement.

Such smooth sailing of the ship of state could not be expected to last, however, and during President Washington’s second term, the United States–and thus its chief executive–began to experience the kinds of problems that plague any government. Relations with the former "mother country" deteriorated until it seemed that another war with Great Britain might be inevitable. And on the domestic front, groups of farmers, especially those in the westernmost counties of Pennsylvania, protested and rebelled against the Washington administration’s excise tax on the whiskey that they distilled from their grain, eventually rioting in the summer of 1794.

The hero of America’s revolution also suffered personal attacks on his character. Rumors had it that Washington was given to "gambling, reveling, horseracing and horse whipping" and that he had even taken British bribes while he was commanding American troops.

During the last weeks of 1795, reports spread through Philadelphia–then the national capital–that Washington planned to retire at the conclusion of his second term. It was true that similar rumors had circulated three years before, as the end of his first term drew near, but this time it appeared that he was determined to step down. Nearing his mid-sixties–a normal life span for a man in the eighteenth century–the president longed to retire to the tranquility of Mount Vernon, his beloved home in Virginia.

Although Washington said nothing to John Adams regarding his plans for retirement, his wife Martha hinted to the vice president near Christmas 1795 that her husband would be leaving office. Ten days later, Adams learned that the president had informed his cabinet that he would step down in March 1797.* "You know the Consequences of this, to me and to yourself," Adams, aware that he might become the second president of the United States, wrote to his wife Abigail that same evening.

Adams’s ascension to the presidency would be neither automatic nor unanimous. Before achieving that high office, he would have to emerge victorious from America’s first contested presidential election.


* The March 4 date for the beginning of new terms of office went back to tradition begun under the Articles of Confederation and codified by Congressional legislation in 1792. The Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1933, specified that henceforth Congressional terms would begin on January 3 and that an incoming president and vice president would take their oaths of office at noon on January 20 of the year following their election.


Eight years earlier, in September 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention had considered numerous plans for choosing a president. They had rejected direct election by qualified voters because, as Roger Sherman of Connecticut remarked, a scattered population could never "be informed of the characters of the leading candidates." The delegates also ruled out election by Congress. Such a procedure, Gouverneur Morris stated, would inevitably be "the work of intrigue, cabal and of faction."

Finally, the convention agreed to an electoral college scheme, whereby "Each state shall appoint in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress." Presidential selection, therefore, would be decided through a state-by-state, rather than a national, referendum.

Each elector chosen by the voters or the legislature of his state would cast votes for two candidates, one of whom had to come from outside his state. The electors’ ballots would be opened in the presence of both houses of Congress.

* Not since 1824 has the winner of a presidential contest been decided by the House of Representatives. In that year, John Quincy Adams gained the presidency when one more than half of the members of the House cast their ballots in his favor, giving him the necessary majority.



If no one received a majority of the votes, or if two or more individuals tied with a majority of the electoral college votes, the members of the House of Representatives would cast ballots to elect the president.* Once the president had been decided upon, the candidate from among those remaining who had received the second largest number of electoral votes became the vice president.
The framers of the Constitution believed that most electors would judiciously cast their two ballots for persons of "real merit," as Morris put it. Alexander Hamilton argued in Federalist 68–one of a series of essays penned by Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay to encourage ratification of the Constitution in New York State–that it was a "moral certainty" that the electoral college scheme would result in the election of the most qualified man. Someone skilled in the art of intrigue might win a high state office, he wrote, but only a man nationally known for his "ability and virtue" could gain the support of electors from throughout the United States.

Indeed, the "electoral college" plan worked well during the first two presidential elections in 1788 and 1792, when every elector had cast one of his ballots for Washington. But by 1796, something unforeseen by the delegates to the Constitutional Convention had occurred; men of different points of view had begun to form themselves into political parties.

The first signs of such factionalism appeared early in Washington’s presidency. On one side were the Federalists who yearned for an American society and national government established on the British model. Skeptical of the growing democratization of the new nation, the Federalists desired a centralized national government that would have the strength both to aid merchants and manufacturers and to safeguard America’s traditional hierarchical society.

By 1792, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and Congressman James Madison–both, like Washington, from Virginia–had taken steps to fashion an opposition party. Jefferson became the acknowledged leader of the new Anti-Federalists, a group soon known as the Democratic-Republican Party because of its empathy for the struggling republic that had emerged from the French Revolution of 1789. This party looked irreverently upon the past, was devoted to republican institutions, sought to give property-owning citizens greater control over their lives, and dreamt of an agrarian nation in which government would be small and weak.

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Members of both parties ran candidates in congressional and state races in 1792, but they did not challenge President Washington. Partisanship, however, did surface that year in the contest for the vice presidency. Some Republicans acted behind the scenes in "support . . . of removing Mr. A," as the clerk of the House noted, mainly because Adams’s writings on government included positive statements about the British monarchy. The movement came to naught because it did not have the support of Jefferson, who had known and liked Adams for nearly twenty years. Other Republicans rallied behind George Clinton, the newly elected governor of New York.

The activity of the Republicans threw a scare into the Federalists. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, the acknowledged leader of the Federalists, was so worried that he urged Adams to cut short a vacation and campaign openly against those who were–as he said–"ill disposed" toward him. Adams, who regarded electioneering with contempt, refused to do so and remained on his farm in Quincy, Massachusetts, until after the electors had cast their ballots.

By March 1796, when Washington finally told his vice president that he would not seek reelection, Adams had decided to run for the office of president. His decision was "no light thing," he said, since he knew that as president he would be subjected to "obloquy, contempt, and insult." He even told Abigail that he believed every chief executive was "almost sure of disgrace and ruin." While she had mixed emotions about his decision, she did not discourage him from running. In fact, she told him that the presidency would be a "flattering and Glorious Reward" for his long years of service. Ultimately, Adams decided to seek the office because, he asserted, "I love my country too well to shrink from danger in her service."

As he began his quest, Adams expected formidable opposition, especially from Jefferson. He foresaw three possible outcomes to the election: he might garner the most votes, with Jefferson running second; Jefferson might win and John Jay of New York, long a congressman and diplomat, could finish second; or Jefferson might be elected president, while he was himself reelected vice president. That last scenario was not one Adams was prepared to accept. He decided that he would not serve another term as vice president; if he finished second again, he declared, he would either retire or seek election to the House of Representatives.

Adams considered himself the "heir apparent" to President Washington, having languished in the vice presidency–which he described as "the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived"–for eight years, awaiting his turn. Furthermore, he believed that no man had made greater sacrifices for the nation during the American Revolution than he. In addition to risking his legal career to protest British policies, he sat as a member of the First Continental Congress for three years and served abroad from 1778-88, making two perilous Atlantic crossings to carry out his diplomatic assignments. During that ten years, his public service had forced him to live apart from his wife and five children nearly ninety percent of the time.

Jefferson often proclaimed his disdain for politics, even though he held political office almost continuously for forty years. As 1796 unfolded, he neither made an effort to gain the presidency nor rebuffed the Republican maneuvers to elect him to that office. When he resigned as secretary of state in 1793, Jefferson had said that he did not plan to hold public office again and would happily remain at Monticello, his Virginia estate. But, while he did not seek office in 1796, neither did he say that he would not accept the presidential nomination. Adams –and most Republicans–interpreted Jefferson’s behavior as indicating that he wanted to be president.

The Constitution said nothing about how to select presidential nominees. In 1800, the Republican Party would choose its candidates in a congressional nominating caucus; in 1812, the first nominating conventions were held in several states; and the first national nominating convention took place in 1832. But in 1796, the nominees seemed to materialize out of thin air, as if by magic. In actuality, the party leaders decided on the candidates and attempted to herd their followers into line.

The Federalists’ support centered on Adams and Thomas Pinckney of South Carolina. Pinckney, who had recently negotiated a successful treaty with Spain that established territorial and traffic rights for the United States on the Mississippi River, was chosen for the second slot on the ticket by the party moguls–without consulting Adams–in part because as a Southerner, he might siphon Southern votes from Jefferson.

On the Republican side, Madison confided to James Monroe in February that "Jefferson alone can be started with hope of success, [and we] mean to push him." The Republicans also endorsed Senator Aaron Burr of New York.

All this transpired quietly, for Washington did not publicly announce his intention of retiring until the very end of the summer. Not that the parties’ plans were a mystery. Before Washington finally informed the nation of his decision on September 19, 1796, in his "Farewell Address"–which was not delivered orally but was printed in Philadelphia’s American Daily Advertiser–the keenly partisan Philadelphia Aurora declared that it "requires no talent at divination to decide who will be candidates. . . . Thomas Jefferson & John Adams will be the men."

But Washington’s address, said congressman Fisher Ames of Massachusetts, was "a signal, like dropping a hat, for the party racers to start." During the next ten weeks, the presidential campaign of 1796 was waged, as Federalists and Republicans–with the exception, for the most part, of the candidates themselves–worked feverishly for victory.

Adams, Jefferson, and Pinckney never left home. While their parties took stands on the major issues of the day, these men embraced the classical model of politics, refusing to campaign. They believed that a man should not pursue an office; rather, the office should seek out the man. They agreed that the most talented men–what some called an aristocracy of merit–should govern, but also that ultimate power rested with the people. The qualified voters, or the elected representatives of the people, were capable of selecting the best men from among the candidates on the basis of what Adams called the "pure Principles of Merit, Virtue, and public Spirit."

Burr alone actively campaigned. Although he did not make any speeches, he visited every New England state and spoke with several presidential electors. Many Federalist and Republican officeholders and supporters spoke at rallies, but most of the electioneering took place through handbills, pamphlets, and newspapers.

The campaign was a rough and tumble affair. The Republicans sought to convince the electorate that their opponents longed to establish a titled nobility in America and that Adams–whom they caricatured as "His Rotundity" because of his small, portly stature–was a pro-British monarchist. President Washington was assailed for supporting Hamilton’s aggressive economic program, as well as for the Jay Treaty of 1795, which had settled outstanding differences between the United States and Britain. The Philadelphia Aurora went so far as to insist that the president was the "source of all the misfortunes of our country."

The Federalists responded by portraying Jefferson as an atheist and French puppet who would plunge the United States into another war with Great Britain. They also charged that he was indecisive and a visionary. A "philosopher makes the worst politician," one Federalist advised, while another counseled that Jefferson was "fit to be a professor in a college . . . but certainly not the first magistrate of a great nation." Newspapers such as the Gazette of the United States and Porcupine’s Gazette asserted that Jefferson’s election would result in domestic disorder.

Behind-the-scenes maneuvering included a plan by Hamilton, who felt that Pinckney could be more easily manipulated than Adams, to have one or two Federalist electors withhold their votes for Adams. Hearing rumors of the ploy, several New England electors conferred and agreed not to cast a ballot for Pinckney.

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Even the French minister to the United States, Pierre Adet, became involved in the election by seeking to convey the impression that a victory for Jefferson would result in improved relations with France. As one historian has noted: "Never before or since has a foreign power acted so openly in an American election."

Sixteen states took part in the balloting. The 138 electors were chosen by popular vote in six states and by the state legislatures of the remaining ten. Seventy votes were required to win a majority.

Adams expected to receive all of New England’s 39 votes, but he also had to win all 12 of New York’s votes and 19 from the other middle and southern states to win. He concluded that was impossible, especially after learning of Hamilton’s machinations. On the eve of the electoral college vote, Adams remarked privately that Hamilton had "outgeneraled" all the other politicians and stolen the election for Pinckney.

The electors voted in their respective state capitals on the first Wednesday in December, but the law stipulated that the ballots could not be opened and counted until the second Wednesday in February. And so for nearly seventy days, every conceivable rumor circulated regarding the outcome of the election. By the third week in December, however, one thing was clear, Jefferson could not get seventy votes. Although 63 electors were Southerners, the South was a two-party region, and it was known that Jefferson had not received a vote from every Southern elector. In addition, because the Federalists controlled the legislatures in New York, New Jersey, and Delaware, it was presumed that Jefferson would be shut out in those states.

Beyond that, nothing was certain. Many believed that Pinckney would win, either because of Hamilton’s supposed chicanery or because all "the Jeffs," as Ames called the Southern Republican electors, supposedly had cast their second ballot for the South Carolinian in order to ensure that a Southerner succeed Washington. A good number of Americans fully expected that no candidate would get a majority of the votes, thus sending the election to the House of Representatives.

By the end of December, better information arrived in Philadelphia when Ames informed Adams that he had at least 71 electoral votes. On December 28, Jefferson wrote Adams a congratulatory letter and at Washington’s final levee in 1796, the First Lady told the vice president of her husband’s delight at his victory. Persuaded that he was indeed the victor, an ebullient Adams wrote his wife at year’s end that he had "never felt more serene" in his life.

Finally, on February 8, 1797, the sealed ballots were opened and counted before a joint session of Congress. Ironically, it was Vice President Adams, in his capacity as president of the Senate, who read aloud the results. The tabulation showed that Adams had indeed garnered 71 votes. Every New England and New York elector had voted for him. The tales about Hamilton’s treachery had been untrue; ultimately, the former treasury secretary found the prospect of a Jefferson administration too distasteful to risk the subterfuge necessary to defeat Adams, who also got, as expected, all ten votes from New Jersey and Delaware. And in a sense, Adams won the election in the South, having secured nine votes in Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Jefferson, who finished second with 68 votes, automatically became the new vice president.* One Federalist elector in Virginia, the representative of a western district that long had exhibited hostility toward the planter aristocracy, voted for Adams and Pinckney, as did four electors from commercial, Federalist enclaves in Maryland and North Carolina. Whereas Adams secured enough votes in the South to push him over the top, Jefferson did not receive a single electoral vote in New England or in New York, New Jersey, or Delaware.

Pinckney, not Adams, was the real victim of Hamilton’s rumored duplicity. To ensure that the South Carolinian did not obtain more votes than Adams, 18 Federalist electors in New England refused to give him their vote.
* This first contested presidential election demonstrated a flaw in the Constitution’s electoral college scheme since the country now had a Federalist president and a Republican vice president. Four years later, the two republican candidates, Jefferson and Burr, each received 73 electoral votes. Although it was clear during the election campaign that Jefferson was the presidential candidate and Burr the vice presidential, Burr refused to concede, forcing a vote in the House of Representatives that brought Jefferson into office. To correct these defects the Twelfth Amendment, which provided for separate balloting for president and vice president, was adopted in 1804.

 


Had Pinckney received 12 of those votes, the election would have been thrown into the House of Representatives. Instead, he finished third with 59 electoral votes.

 

Burr polled only thirty votes. Southern Republicans–perhaps sharing the sentiment of the Virginia elector who remarked that there were "traits of character" in Burr which "sooner or later will give us much trouble"–rejected him.

Even among the enfranchised citizens, few bothered to cast ballots in this election. In Pennsylvania, a state in which the electors were popularly chosen, only about one-quarter of the eligible voters went to the polls. But the contest in Pennsylvania was an augury of the political changes soon to come. The Republicans swept 14 of the state’s 15 electoral votes, winning in part because they "outpoliticked" their opponents by running better-known candidates for the electoral college and because Minister Adet’s intrusive comments helped Jefferson among Quakers and Philadelphia merchants who longed for peace. Many voters had rejected the Federalist Party because they thought of it as a pro-British, pro-aristocratic party committed to an economic program designed to benefit primarily the wealthiest citizens.

And what occurred in Pennsylvania was not unique. Jefferson won more than eighty percent of the electoral college votes in states outside New England that chose their electors by popular vote. In an increasingly democratic United States, the election of 1796 represented the last great hurrah for the Federalist Party.

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On March 4, 1797, America’s first orderly transferal of power occurred in Philadelphia when George Washington stepped down and John Adams took the oath as the second president of the United States. Many spectators were moved to tears during this emotional affair, not only because Washington’s departure brought an era to a close, but because the ceremony represented a triumph for the republic. Adams remarked that this peaceful event was "the sublimist thing ever exhibited in America." He also noted Washington’s joy at surrendering the burdens of the presidency. In fact, Adams believed that Washington’s countenance seemed to say: "Ay! I am fairly out and you fairly in! See which of us will be the happiest." *

Historian John Ferling is the author of the recently re-released John Adams: A Life (An Owl Book, Henry Holt and Company, 1996, $17.95 paper).

* * * * * * *

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Letters from Readers – April 2010 American HistoryLessons Learned Our February cover story about George Washington’s instructions to his troops before the 1775 invasion of Quebec prompted one reader to note that smallpox added to the Continental Army’s woes. “Washington learned the lesson of the failed campaign,” writes Miguel Zambrano of Gapan City, Philippines, “and insisted that those joining the army be …
Daily Quiz for January 28, 2010Like Franklin D. Roosevelt, who tried to hide from the public the fact that his polio-weakened legs often required him to use a wheelchair, this president also hid the fact that he frequently needed the aid of crutches.
Letter from American History – June 2009Despite more than two centuries of broken treaties and displacement by white settlers, Native American tribes have not only survived but they retain the legal status of sovereign nations accorded to them by the nation's founders. These issues are explored in an article by Paul VanDevelder.
The Race to MaltaPlagued by the Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica, Operation Harpoon is launched to resupply Malta during World War II. This major convoy must fight its way through Axis air and sea defenses. And the Germans and Italians are ready.
Letter From American History – February 2008Jerry’s P.S.: “Now, here’s what I really think.” It’s been nearly a year since his death at age 93, but Gerald Ford is still making news and rewriting some pages of history. In 1973 the affable Michigan congressman was center stage, playing a leading role in one of America’s greatest political and constitutional dramas. In …
Gerald Ford’s Near Miracle of 1976Gerald Ford withstood a challenge by Ronald Reagan within his own party and nearly pulled off a miraculous comeback against Jimmy Carter in the 1976 presidential election.
Daily Quiz for November 27, 2007The Tower Commission exposed an elaborate network of official deception, private profiteering and White House cover-up in this president?s administration:
Margaret Thatcher: Iron LadyBoth loved and hated, Europe's first female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, was something of a political outsider, but she reinvigorated national pride and achieved iconic status in the Conservative Party.
Onward Christian Soldiers: The Story of the Salvation ArmyLong recognized as one of the most efficient and effective private charitable organizations in the world, the Salvation Army works in 109 countries and 175 languages across the globe.
North British Migration: From the Irish Sea to the Allegheny MountainsAs colonial settlement thrived on the Atlantic seaboard, word spread through Britain that in the piedmont and mountains beyond the coast there was land for the taking. From the border counties of England and Scotland, and the Scots-Irish province of Ulster, they came to Appalachia.

By Claire Hopley

Congo Crisis: Operation Dragon RougeFar from any hope of rescue, the hostages in Stanleyville were suddenly awakened by sounds of battle and chilling cries from their Simba captors: 'Your brothers have some from the sky! Now you will be killed!'
Robert Todd Lincoln: The Perpetual Non-CandidateLiving in the shadow of his revered father, Robert Todd Lincoln served the Republican Party and his country with distinction, but, although perennially courted by his party, steadfastly refused a presidential or vice presidential nomination.

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Picture of the Day: January 11Alexander Hamilton American patriot and statesman Alexander Hamilton, the illegitimate son of a Scottish merchant, was born on St. Croix probably on January 11, 1755. After showing remarkable promise in finance, the young Hamilton was sent by a benefactor to King’s College in New York. In 1776, Hamilton joined the Continental Army, where he soon …
Picture of the Day: January 5George Washington Carver After devoting his life to helping fellow African Americans through education, George Washington Carver died on January 5, 1943, at Tuskegee, Alabama. Carver was born the son of a slave woman in the early 1860s, went to college in Iowa and then headed to Alabama in 1896. There, at the Tuskegee Institute, …
Picture of the Day: January 2John Muir Naturalist and forest conservation advocate John Muir was largely responsible for the establishment of national parks such as Sequoia and Yosemite. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin, Scottish immigrant Muir worked on mechanical inventions, but when an industrial accident blinded him in one eye, he abandoned that career and devoted himself to …
Climbing Mount EverestThree generations of British mountaineers committed themselves to standing where no one ever had before.
Picture of the Day: December 22Rachel Jackson Dies Rachel Jackson, beloved wife of Andrew Jackson, died of heart disease on December 22, 1828, just weeks before her recently elected husband was inaugurated as president of the United States. This portrait of her was painted in 1819 at age 52. Andrew Jackson had been 21 and a promising young lawyer when …
Picture of the Day: November 30Sir Winston Churchill Sir Winston Churchill was born on November 30, 1874, in Oxfordshire, England. After attending the Royal Military College, he served as a reporter and writer, and then in different positions in Parliament as his political power grew. His most influential role was as British prime minister during World War II from 1940 …
Picture of the Day: November 22The Kennedy Assassination John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, had been in office two years, 10 months and two days on November 22, 1963, when an assassin’s bullet ended his life in Dallas, Texas. Kennedy, on a pre-campaign trip to supposedly hostile Texas, had been greeted warmly by enthusiastic crowds at …
Picture of the Day: June 17Watergate Break-in The fall of President Richard Nixon began on June 17, 1972, when five well-dressed men were arrested after breaking into the Democratic National Committee offices in Washington’s Watergate Hotel. The five burglars were soon linked to Nixon’s Committee for the Re-election of the President (CREEP) and, as suspicion grew, Nixon conspired to obstruct …
Picture of the Day: November 9Benjamin Banneker was born in Maryland on November 9, 1731, and grew up a free black man. From his farm near Baltimore, Banneker spent much of his time studying the stars. Although he lacked much of a formal education, he taught himself with borrowed books and became a noted mathematician, astronomer and inventor. Carving its …
Picture of the Day: November 2Truman’s Surprise Victory During the presidential election campaign in 1948, almost everyone expected New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey to win and few had faith in a victory for incumbent Harry S. Truman. While Truman went on a ‘whistle stop’ tour across the United States, giving more than 350 speeches, Dewey’s confident campaign was more …
Picture of the Day: June 6D-Day Invasion On June 6, 1944, Allied forces under the overall command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower–shown here paying an eleventh-hour visit to the men of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division–landed on five beachheads in Normandy, France. In addition, U.S. and British airborne forces landed behind the German lines and U.S. Army Rangers scaled the …
Picture of the Day: May 7V-E Day After five years, World War II in Europe ended on May 7, 1945, when Colonel General Alfred Jodl, the last chief of staff of the German Army, signed the unconditional surrender at General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s headquarters at Rheims, France. The next morning, President Harry S. Truman’s radio announcement of V-E Day touched …
Covering D-Day: An Allied Journalist’s PerspectiveAllied journalists fought to cover the great moment in World War II and get the news back home.
Picture of the Day: September 25President Woodrow Wilson (Photo: Library of Congress) In September 1919 an ailing President Woodrow Wilson was faced with the possibility that the Senate might not ratify the Versailles Treaty ending World War I without substantial changes. Wilson embarked on a grueling railroad tour of America to sway public opinion in favor of his version of …
Picture of the Day: August 15Japan Surrenders At 7 p.m. on August 15, 1945, reporters gathered in the Oval Office to hear President Harry S. Truman announce the unconditional surrender of Japan. Shaken by the atomic destruction wreaked on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and faced with the daunting prospect of Allied invasion, the Japanese Emperor Hirohito met with his ministers on …
Picture of the Day: March 15Andrew Jackson’s Birthday Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), seventh President of the United States, was born March 15, 1767 in South Carolina. The first American president to be born in a log cabin, Jackson was a hero of the War of 1812, an Indian fighter and a Tennessee lawyer. Neither a particularly intelligent man nor a wise …
Picture of the Day: March 12FDR’s Fireside Chats President Roosevelt makes his first Sunday evening fireside chats on March 12, 1933. Roosevelt gave 31 chats from March 1933 and June 1944 to explain his policies to the public via radio broadcasts. This photo was taken during his April 28, 1935 broadcast in Washington, D.C. Photo: Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, National …
Picture of the Day: February 28The GI Bill First proposed by the American Legion and passed by Congress on January 10, 1944, the GI Bill of Rights–more formally known as the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944–was intended to smooth demobilization for America’s almost 16 million servicemen and women. Postwar college and vocational school attendance soared as more than 50 percent …
Picture of the Day: February 16Alice Lee Roosevelt Alice Lee Roosevelt, President Theodore Roosevelt’s irrepressible eldest daughter, married Congressman Nicholas Longworth of Ohio in an elaborate White House ceremony on February 17, 1906. Heedless of social convention, Alice’s behavior routinely shocked her family and friends. Once the president, when confronted with another of Alice’s escapades, remarked, ‘I can do one …
Picture of the Day: July 4Declaration of Independence More than a year after the first fighting of the American Revolution broke out in Lexington and Concord, the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, officially breaking America’s legal ties with England. Authored largely by Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, the Declaration of Independence remains one of the most stirring …
Picture of the Day: July 1The Rough Riders’ Charge Up San Juan Hill In the battle to take the Spanish-held heights outside Santiago de Cuba on July 1, 1898, Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Roosevelt–shown here with some of his Rough Riders–was unsatisfied with the lack of clear orders and decided to lead a charge up San Juan Hill himself. At first, …
Picture of the Day: January 28The Loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger On January 28, 1986, 73 seconds into its 10th launch, Americans watched in horror as the space shuttle Challenger (STS-51L) exploded in midair, killing its crew of seven–Navy pilot Michael J. Smith, Commander Francis Scobee and mission specialist Ronald McNair, front row; mission specialist Ellison Onizuka, first teacher …
D-Day’s Mighty Host – May ’98 World War II FeatureA perilous airborne strike and the mightiest assemblage of seaborne power yet seen heralded the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany. By David R. Jennys The road to the invasion of Nazi-controlled France began more than two years prior to its actual execution. In its early stages, the invasion plan was a British operation …
Turning Points: One Sunday in December: December ’98 American History FeatureDawn came up golden over Pearl Harbor, just waking from tropic dreams. December 7, 1941 would be a day of deceit. A day of shock and horror. A day, for Americans, ever to be remembered.

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Midway – May ’98 World War II FeatureMidway Admiral Raymond A. Spruance displayed outstanding leadership and command capabilities during the battle that turned the tide in the Pacific. By Michael D. Hull Admiral Chester W. Nimitz called him “a fine man, a sterling character, and a great leader,” and said, “nothing you can say about him would be praise enough.” Admiral William …
Order vs. Liberty: October ’98 American History FeatureWhen Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798, it opened a heated debate about the limits of freedom in a free society. By Larry Gragg On July 4, 1798, the citizens of the capital city of Philadelphia turned out in large numbers to celebrate the nation’s independence day. While militia companies marched through …
Kursk – March ’98 World War II FeatureLaffey The embattled destroyer survived horrific damagefrom attacks by 22 Japanese aircraft off Okinawa. By Dale P. Harper Commander Frederick Julian Becton, captain of the destroyer USS Laffey (DD 724), took the radio message his communications officer handed him on April 12, 1945, but the concerned look on the young officer’s face made Becton suspect …
The Bitter Battle for Berlin – Sidebar: March ’98 World War II FeatureThe capture of Berlin was left to the Soviets, but the Western Allies nevertheless occupied zones in the German capital. Berlin was considered by many of the Western Allies to be one of the prime objectives of the war. While plans to seize the capital city included an airborne assault by the 82nd and 101st …
Perspectives:’Black Panther’ Tank Battalion – January ’98 World War II FeatureThe 761st ‘Black Panther’ Tank Battalion was the first African-American armored unit to see combat. By Joseph E. Wilson, Jr. Before and during mobilization for World War II, officials in Washington, D.C., debated whether or not African-American soldiers should be used in armored units. Many military men and politicians believed that blacks did not have …
American History: January/February ’98 LettersSERVED UNDER JOHN PAUL JONESMy grandfather, Lt. William Seach, was a flesh-and-blood hero to all of us grandchildren growing up. An emigrant from England with a third-grade education, he gained his citizenship by enlisting in the U.S. Navy. One of his favorite stories was of serving under John Paul Jones, a feat he accomplished by …
American History: March ’98 Letters1919 ARMORED CADILLACAn interesting prelude to the transcontinental trip by military motor described in “From D.C. to the Golden Gate” (November/December 1997 issue) was conducted by Colonel Royal P. Davidson. He traveled in a cavalcade of eight Cadillac cars, one a fully armored car with cupola and machine gun, for the purpose of showing the …
American History: May/June 1998 From the EditorThoughts on HistoryMagazine editors love a good anniversary. Give us an event that happened 50, 100, or 200 years ago and chances are we’ll find someone to write about it. There’s something seductive about a nice round block of time. For one thing, those numbers provide handy temporal yardsticks. Time flows past quickly, and it’s …
American History: January/February 1998 From the EditorThoughts on HistoryOne of a magazine editor’s most painful tasks is cutting perfectly good articles so they fit into the space allotted. As a result, sometimes the more leisurely reflections about the causes and effects of historic events are sacrificed. A case in point is this issue’s article on the battleship Maine by Michael D. …
American History: December ’98 LettersEDITH, NOT ELLENIn “How the Airmail Got Off the Ground,” from your August issue, President Woodrow Wilson’s wife is referred to as Ellen. In fact, Ellen Axson Wilson died in 1914, and the following year the president married Edith Bolling Galt. It was Edith who accompanied him to the airmail festivities in 1918.Esley HamiltonUniversity City, …
American History: August 1998 From the EditorThoughts on History“It has been a splendid little war, begun with the highest motives, carried on with magnificent intelligence and spirit, favored by that fortune that loves the brave.” So said Secretary of State John Hay in a letter he wrote to Theodore Roosevelt 100 years ago. Hay was referring to the Spanish-American War, a …
‘Lady Lindy': The Remarkable Life of Amelia Earhart – July ’97 Aviation History Feature'Lady Lindy': The Remarkable Life of Amelia Earhart A tomboy who defied early-20th-century conventions, Earhart successfully crusaded for women pilots’ place in the sky. By C.V. Glines They called Amelia Earhart “Lady Lindy” after her first flight across the Atlantic. She was tall and slim, with short, wind-swept hair, and looked so remarkably like Charles …
The Summit of Everest – Cover Page: August/September ’97 British Heritage FeatureThe Summit of Everest Three generations of British mountaineers committed themselves to standing where no one ever had before. Strangely, the highest mountain in the world has probably been visited most frequently not by the native Nepalese and Tibetans who have lived for centuries in its shadow, but by British explorers and surveyors. While the …
BUCKINGHAM PALACE – May ’97 British Heritage FeatureBUCKINGHAM PALACE By Hugo Vickers Buckingham Palace presents an inscrutable facade. It possesses a composite aura of authority, much as the White House does in America. The edifice has come to embody the voice of royalty; statements issued to the world from behind these walls begin with the words ‘Buckingham Palace announced today. . . …
Billy Mitchell Air Power VisionaryAs Brig. Gen. William Mitchell faced court-martial charges in 1925,the Kansas City Star described him as 'a zealot, a fanatic, a one-idea man...' but added that someday his dream might come true.
Aviation History: September ’97 From The EditorBilly Mitchell fought for his beliefs--but he did not live to see his unorthodox concepts bear fruit in WWII.
first thunder at SHILOH – Cover Page: March 1997 Civil War Times Featurefirst thunder at SHILOH A REBEL BATTERY’S FIRST SALVO WAS THE PRELUDE TO A STORM THE UNTESTED CANNONEERS COULD NEVER HAVE IMAGINED JON G. STEPHENSON A Confederate artillery captain peered through his field glasses, calmly studying the distant tree line. It was a lovely day. A breeze ruffled the budding branches of the oaks that …
They’re not all Piper Cubs – November ’97 Aviation History FeatureThey're not all Piper Cubs The ubiquitous yellow two-seater that spawned an industry lived to become a misnomer. By Charles Spence Someone once asked William T. Piper, Sr., if he wanted to be known as the Henry Ford of the airplane business. Piper reportedly replied, “No, I would prefer that Mr. Ford be known as …
1st Aero Squadron in Pursuit of Pancho Villa – November ’97 Aviation History Feature1st Aero Squadron in Pursuit of Pancho Villa Taking part in Brig. Gen. John J. Pershing’s 1916 Mexican expeditionwas a learning experience for the U.S. Army’s first air arm–mainly in regard to itsown deficiencies. By Gary Glynn The worried young pilot flew south, deeper into hostile territory, navigating by the stars. Below the fabric-covered wings …
“Neither Snow nor Rain…” – Sidebar: December ’97 American History FeatureStamp Sesquicentennial For philatelists, 1997–the 150th anniversary of the U.S. postage stamp–is a big year. The hobby that attracts more Americans with a collector’s instinct than any other owes a debt of gratitude to Postmaster General Cave Johnson, who urged Congress to authorize the use of stamps as a system of postage prepayment, as the …
On the Road to Victory: The Red Ball Express – March ’97 World War II FeatureOn the Road to Victory: The Red Ball ExpressMore than 6,000 trucks kept gasoline and other vital supplies rolling in as American troops and tanks pushed the Germans back toward their homeland. By David P. Colley It was dusk, somewhere in France in the autumn of 1944. A jeep carrying a first lieutenant in charge …
“Neither Snow nor Rain…”: December ’97 American History FeatureNeither Snow nor Rain... With origins dating backto the seventeenth century, today’s United StatesPostal Service has a long history of meeting thevaried needs of an expanding and changing nation. By Cathleen Schurr As he set out in January 1673 on the arduous journey that would initiate the first regular mail run between the colonial cities …
Mercury Orbits the Earth: October ’97 American History FeatureMercury Orbits the Earth In February 1962–just nine months after President John F. Kennedy called for the U.S. to put a man on the moon before 1970–Mercury astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. by Bryan Ethier On the morning of February 20, 1962, millions of Americans collectively held their breath …
Death of Convoy PQ-17 – February ’97 World War II FeatureDeath of Convoy PQ-17 As their escorts turned away, the ships of the doomed Allied convoy followed orders and began to disperse in the Arctic waters. By Raymond A. Denkhaus Germany’s ill-fated invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 gave England an unlikely and problematic ally. Unlikely because Great Britain’s government was ardently anti-Communist, …

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World War II: July 1997 From the EditorSeven long-overdue Medals of Honor are testaments to the heroism of African-American veterans. On November 16, 1944, Staff Sergeant Ruben Rivers was in the thick of a fierce fight with the Germans. Rivers and the rest of the all-African-American 761st Tank Battalion–known as the “Black Panthers”–were advancing toward the small town of Guebling, France. The …
Undercover – February ’97 World War II FeatureUndercover In the summer of 1942, German submarines put saboteurs ashore on American beaches. By Harvey Ardman Normandy. Anzio. Guadalcanal. Okinawa. Those are some of the historic landing sites for World War II invasions, legendary names that should never be forgotten. But there were lesser landings, as well, such as at Amagansett, New York, and …
The Black Bean Lottery: October ’97 American History FeatureIn March 1843, 176 members of an unauthorized army of Texans captured in Mexico drew beans from a jar to determine which 17 among them would die for their alleged crimes. By Peter F. Stevens As war raged across the rugged Mexican countryside during the summer of 1847, Major Walter Lane led a detachment of …
Death of a Double Dealer – March ’97 World War II FeatureDeath of a Double Dealer Admiral Jean Francois Darlan, leader of the armed forces of Vichy France, was assassinated in Algiers in 1942. By Kelly Bell When Anglo-American armies invaded North Africa in November 1942, the objectives of Operation Torch far exceeded merely clearing the region of operational Axis forces. Besides the crucial objectives of …
DEVOTION TO THE CHIEF: June ’97 American History FeatureDEVOTION TO THE CHIEF President Harry S. Truman relied heavily on Dean Acheson for his most significant foreign policy achievements. by Robert L. Beisner When he assumed the office of president of the United States in April 1945, Harry S. Truman possessed limited knowledge of international affairs. During his almost eight years in office, therefore, …
American History: April 1997 From the EditorThoughts on HistoryAs we were preparing this issue of American History, which includes on page 16 an article by Mark Dunkelman about Amos Humiston, a Union soldier who died during the Battle of Gettysburg, leaving a wife and three small children behind, we received a letter from a reader named Anna Pansini, which struck a …
American History: December 1997 From the EditorThoughts on HistoryThis issue of American History has a lot to do with distances, specifically the difficulty bridging them. The United States is a large country, as I learned from experience the first time I drove across it. One night I broke down on a deserted road in the middle of Texas. Fortunately, there was …
American History: February 1997 From the EditorThoughts on HistoryAs you read the print issue, you will notice a new logo appearing at the end of “Code Talkers” by William R. Wilson. In the future, this symbol will be used in each issue to signify that an article complementing the one to which the logo is affixed can be found on the …
American History: February ’97 LettersWIVES DESERVE CREDITLet me give you my reflections about Mr. Haydock’s excellent article on the G.I. Bill in the September/October 1996 issue of American History. His description of the college years under the G.I. Bill is interesting and truly accurate. But he failed to mention one thing–the contribution that many wives made to their husbands’ educations. I …
American History: August 1997 From the EditorThoughts on HistoryAt the end of a 1980 interview with William R. Wilson, which begins on page 48 of this issue, the late General James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle declared: “I’d never want to relive my life. I couldn’t possibly be that lucky a second time.” Doolittle and collaborator Carroll V. Glines used a variation of …
The Guggenheims, Aviation Visionaries – Nov. ’96 Aviation History FeatureThe Guggenheims AVIATION VISIONARIES Everyone flying today is a beneficiary of this father-son team’s vision and largesse. By C.V. Glines The names and contributions of the Wright brothers, Glenn Curtiss, Charles Lindbergh and James H. Doolittle are well known. But what about Daniel and Harry Guggenheim? Who were they–and what did they do for aviation? …
In Present-Day Brooklyn, Echo of the Civil War – March ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureOn a leafy side street in present-day Brooklyn, a faintecho of the Civil War can still be heard.By John A. Barnes The Episcopal Church of St. John, in Brooklyn, New York, is considerably less quiet today than it must have been in the days when Captain Robert E. Lee and 1st Lieutenant Thomas J. Jackson …
A ‘Flying Flivver’ in Every Garage – Jan. ’96 Aviation History FeaturePeople & Planes A ‘flying flivver’ in every garage, plus handy airparks, were the post-WWII fantasy for many Americans. By Joseph Bourque It is 1943. A group of young men relax under the wing of a bomber just returned from a mission over Germany. One of them is saying: “When we’ve taken care of Goering’s …
Marines’ Mighty Midget Over Vietnam – May ’96 Aviation History FeatureMarines’ Mighty Midget Over Vietnam Marine pilots in their diminutive Douglas A-4 Skyhawks provided vital close air support for ground forces in Vietnam. By Jerry Scutts When infantrymen of the 1st Marine Division waded ashore at Da Nang in March 1965, the conflict in Southeast Asia might have seemed quite a low-key affair, as banners …
Travelers to Wartime Richmond – Sept. ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureTravelers to wartime Richmond had a wide choiceof luxurious hotels, inns and taverns. By John K. Trammell The outbreak of the Civil War ushered in an era of radical change in Virginia. Starting with fanatical John Brown’s failed revolution at Harpers Ferry, and ending with a devastating defeat and painful reconstruction six years later, citizens …
Kill Cavalry’s Nasty Surprise – Nov. ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureKill Cavalry’s NASTY SURPRISE Union General William Sherman considered Judson Kilpatrick, his cavalry chief, ‘a hell of a damn fool.’ At Monroe’s Cross Roads, N.C., his carelessness and disobedience of orders proved Sherman’s point. By William Preston Mangum II Major General William Tecumseh Sherman had made a swift and steady advance through Georgia and South …
The Autogiro & Grumman J2F Duck – Nov. ’96 Aviation History FeatureCaptain John Miller had what it took to fly the weirdones–the autogiro and the Grumman J2F Duck. By Bud Walker John Miller gently advanced the throttle with his left hand. As the autogiro’s 225-hp radial engine roared to life, the huge rotor blades began to sweep precariously close to his head. Suddenly, the aircraft began …
Airmail’s First Day – May ’94 Aviation History FeatureAirmail’s First Day The Post Office called on Army Air Service pilots to carry the first airmail. Despite numeroushardships, the first flying postmen usually madetheir appointed rounds. By C.V. Glines In 1834, Postmaster General William T. Barry remarked that “the celerity of the mail should always be equal to the most rapid transition of the …
1796: The First Real Election – Cover Page: December ’96 American History Feature1796: The First Real Election BY JOHN FERLING WHEN GEORGE WASHINGTON ANNOUNCED THAT HE WOULD RETIRE FROM OFFICE, HE SET THE STAGEFOR THE NATION’S FIRST TWO-PARTY PRESIDENTIALCAMPAIGN. On the day in April 1789 that he took the oath of office at Federal Hall in New York City as the first president of the United States, …
The Royal Navy’s most effective weapon – May ’96 WorldWar II FeatureCaptain Johnnie Walker was the Royal Navy’s most effective weapon against the German U-boat menace. By Allan W. Stevens Of the 21 million tons of Allied shipping lost during World War II, 15 million tons were sunk by U-boats. The Allies retaliated by sinking 781 U-boats, which resulted in a loss of nearly 35,000 of …
THE PLIGHT OF MOUNT VERNON – Cover Page: December ’96 American History FeatureTHE VIRGINIA ESTATE TO WHICH GEORGE WASHINGTON LONGED TO RETIRE WHEN HE LEFT THEPRESIDENCY IN 1797 WAS LATER SAVED FROM RUIN BY THEEFFORTS OF A GROUP OF LADIES LED BY ANN PAMELACUNNINGHAM. Late on an autumn night in 1853, a passenger boat slowly made its way down the Potomac River. Adhering to a tradition that …
Marine Sergeant Al Schmid – September ’96 World War II FeaturePersonality Marine Sergeant Al Schmid lost an eye while heroically manning a machine gun in bloody fighting on Guadalcanal. By William B. Allmon In 1945, Warner Brothers released a movie titled Pride of the Marines, based on a book by Roger Butterfield, starring John Garfield, Eleanor Parker and Dane Clark. Both the book and the …
Detachment 101 – May ’96 WorldWar II FeatureUndercoverDetachment 101 harried the Japanese in Burma and provided close support for regular Allied forces. By Sterling Rock Johnson After the Pearl Harbor attack in December 1941, the Japanese escalated from regional aggression to a sweeping armed conquest of virtually all Asia. With bewildering speed, Japanese forces overran the Philippines, occupied French Indochina and Thailand, …
Paris’ Unlikely Savior – July ’96 World War II FeatureParis’ Unlikely Savior Adolf Hitler had decreed that Paris should be left a smoking ruin, but Dietrich von Choltitz thought better of his Führer’s order.By Kelly Bell By August 1944 Adolf Hitler had few prizes left in his beleaguered domain. From Tripoli to Rome to Kiev, the conquered metropolises had been retaken. He had just …
First Fire of Operation Torch – November ’96 World War II FeatureIn the crucible of Operation Torch, the men of Sub-Task Force Goalpost received their baptism of fire capturing the Moroccan town of Port Lyautey. by Pierre Comtois The darkened ships of Sub-Task Force Goalpost lay silentlyoff the coast of a great continent. Ashore, lights gleamed,marking the unsuspecting target of the assault planned to takeplace before …

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Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team – July ’96 World War II FeatureThe Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team fought bravely in eight major campaigns. By Michael D. Hull Army Lieutenant Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii dreamed of becoming a doctor after World War II, but his hopes were shattered on an embattled ridge overlooking the Italian town of San Terenzo in April 1945. Inouye was leading a …
American History: October 96 LettersPORTRAITS REMEMBEREDYour article by Harold Holzer in the July/August issue of American History on portraits of Southern gentlemen brought to mymind a childhood memory. I asked my mother what it was like when she was a little girl. She was born in 1884 in the tinyvillage of Big Fishing Creek in West Virginia. On one …
American History: December 96 LettersDISAPPOINTED I am very disappointed that American History chose to print “Declassified” by Roger S. Peterson, regarding the investigationof the JFK assassination July/August 1996 issue. Mr. Peterson claims that new information has come to light from recentlyreleased documents but actually presents a rehash of tired and discredited conspiracy theories and “suggestions” with nocredible evidence whatsoever. …
American History: December 1996 From the EditorThoughts on HistoryFor more than twenty years, my late husband and I lived in Canada. Although we maintained our American citizenship, we lacked the residential requirements necessary to cast an absentee ballot in U.S. presidential elections. Accustomed as we were to this country’s republican form of government, Canada’s parliamentary system took some getting used to. …
The ‘Man Who Never Was’ – Nov. ’95: World War II FeatureUndercoverThe ‘man who never was’ pulled off one of the greatest deceptions in military history–after his death. By David T. Zabecki When the campaign in North Africa was drawing to a successful close, the Allies’ next strategic target was painfully obvious to anyone who could read a map. "Everyone but a bloody fool would know …

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