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The last thing Lincoln ever saw: the play “Our American Cousin.”

One hundred and forty-nine years ago tonight, April 14, 1865, was the most famous “night out” in American history. On that Friday evening Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, … Continue reading

April 14, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Decider speaks: my (fictional) conversation with George W. Bush.

Last night I had a dream about George W. Bush. I dreamed that I was at his presidential library–which in reality is called the George W. Bush Presidential Center–and happened … Continue reading

April 13, 2014 · Leave a comment

The dissenters: five who voted against American entry into World War I.

Ninety-six years ago today, on April 6, 1917, the U.S. Congress voted to declare war on Germany, bringing the United States into the First World War. Four days earlier President … Continue reading

April 6, 2014 · Leave a comment

42 Historical Objects, No. 24: William Strachey’s ring.

This very simple ring is not much to look at, but it has an illustrious history. It belonged to a man named William Strachey, who was born in Essex, England … Continue reading

April 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

Forgotten flight: the lonely voyage of Apollo 6, and the terrible day it happened.

Forty-six years ago today a rocket blasted off from Cape Kennedy in Florida, orbited the Earth three times, and splashed down 10 hours later in the Pacific Ocean north of … Continue reading

April 4, 2014 · 3 Comments

The tragic obsession that almost changed history: the Reagan assassination attempt.

Thirty-three years ago today, on March 30, 1981, mad gunman John Hinckley shot President Ronald Reagan and several others outside the Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. Reagan and his press … Continue reading

March 30, 2014 · 2 Comments

Ghost railroad: the New York, Ontario & Western Railway.

Up in the forests and brambles of upstate New York, there’s a tangle of bike pathways, nature trails and ecological areas that mask an interesting historical secret. Where suburbanites bike … Continue reading

March 29, 2014 · 4 Comments

The autumn of our discontent: the first months of the Great Depression.

This is the eighth and final article in my 1920s Week series. It’s an axiom in history books that the Great Depression began with the catastrophic stock market crash in … Continue reading

March 22, 2014 · 1 Comment

America’s Paris: the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s.

This is the fifth article in my 1920s Week series. New York City has been lively at any time during its 400-year history, but in the 1920s the epicenter of … Continue reading

March 19, 2014 · Leave a comment

Scandals, burnt letters and bad crab meat: the death of President Harding.

This is the third article in my 1920s Week series. On the evening of Thursday, August 2, 1923, Warren G. Harding, 29th President of the United States, died suddenly in … Continue reading

March 18, 2014 · 1 Comment
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