Berlin Airlift

Thousands of tiny parachutes bloomed in the Berlin night sky in December, 1948. They did not herald an invasion, or another one of the incendiary bombing raids that had ravaged Read More

Coney Island

Huddled masses approaching America at at the turn of the century saw first not the Statue of Liberty, nor the Brooklyn Bridge, nor even the breathtaking new skyscrapers, pushing their Read More

FDR’s Fireside Chats

On Sunday evening, March 12, 1933, a worried nation sat down by its radio sets to listen to its president. It was the nadir of the Great Depression, and between one-quarter and one-third Read More

Freedom Riders

John Lewis knew that something was wrong the moment he led the Freedom Riders into the Montgomery bus station. The terminal was nearly deserted—save for a pack of reporters Read More

GI Bill

Calamity hovered over America in 1944. It had nothing to do with World War II; instead, the nation faced a more insidious challenge: What to do with the 16,354,000 men and women Read More


Winston Churchill called it “the most unsordid act in the history of any nation.” Franklin Roosevelt introduced it at a press conference on December 17, 1940 in typically homey, easily Read More

Marshall Plan

At the Harvard commencement on June 5, 1947, George C. Marshall delivered a fifteen-minute speech, in which he painted a grim picture of the continuing "hunger, poverty, desperation, Read More

Steel And Iron Workers

In 1886, the Dominion Bridge Company set out to build a cantilevered bridge over the St. Lawrence for the Canadian Pacific Railroad. The bridge would be set partly on the reservation of the Read More

The Populists

America’s farmers found themselves at their wits’ end by 1883. Most of the nation’s people still made their living off the land, but they found themselves boxed into peonage by nearly every other Read More

Yellow Fever

Save for a tiny insect known as the Stegomyia fasciata the country relinquishing control of the Panama Canal in 1999 might well have been France. Stegomyia fasciata Read More