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Frederic D. Schwarz

Frederic D. Schwarz was a former senior editor of American Heritage magazine.

Articles by this Author

Time Machine, April/May 2007 | Vol. 58, No. 2
Reginald Fessenden made the first radio broadcast in 1906 employing principles still in use today.
Time Machine, October 2006 | Vol. 57, No. 5
On the morning of October 17, 1781, an officer emerged from the British lines holding a white handkerchief
Time Machine, June/July 2006 | Vol. 57, No. 3
Time Machine, April/May 2006 | Vol. 57, No. 2
That Eaton Woman
Constitution, Take One
Lewis Wins the Nobel
Time Machine, October 2005 | Vol. 56, No. 5
American Conquistador
Benedict’s Betrayal
Time Machine, June/July 2005 | Vol. 56, No. 3
Time Machine, April/May 2005 | Vol. 56, No. 2
The Conquest Of Polio
…and every other war in American history
Humvees With Humps
The Demagogue’s Downfall


I’ve always thought of George W. Bush as the Lou Reed of Presidents. Well, maybe that isn’t quite true, though it would be if you substituted “never” for “always.” But it is true that when I heard about President Bush’s latest Supreme Court nominee, Lou Reed is who I thought of. After his days in…
Four times a year we read in the newspapers that “today is the official start of fall,” or whatever season it may be. The notion of some government functionary dictating the seasons is an odd one to begin with, and in most cases, starting and ending them at solstices and equinoxes is contrary to…
In 1997 Gary Chapman of the University of Texas wrote that the unregulated development of technology was an enemy of social harmony: “There are many causes of income inequality, according to economists, and one cause is technological development itself….technological progress creates its own…
When I was growing up on Long Island several decades ago, Chock Full o’ Nuts seemed the height of sophistication. From their advertisements, I knew that in Chock Full o’ Nuts coffee shops it was always the 1940s, with women wearing white gloves and men in sharp fedoras stopping in for a quick cup…
My colleague John Steele Gordon is correct to say that “Chief Justice of the United States” is the official title currently in use, but several points should be noted: (1) As a lowercase, descriptive title, “chief justice of the Supreme Court” is entirely unassailable. In journalistic usage we…
150 Years Ago On March 3 Congress appropriated $30,000 for the U.S. Army to import camels from the Levant and put them to work in the deserts of the Southwest. The law was a pet project of Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, who as early as 1851, when he was still a senator, had suggested using…
50 Years Ago On December 2, by a majority of 67 to 22, the U.S. Senate voted to condemn Sen. Joseph McCarthy, Republican of Wisconsin, for conduct “contrary to senatorial ethics.” The act brought to a close a national drama lasting nearly five years, during which McCarthy had made reckless and far-…
125 Years Ago At 9:00 a.m. on October 22, Charles Batchelor, a researcher in Thomas Edison’s “invention factory” in Menlo Park, New Jersey, sat down to record the results of the previous day’s work. “We made some very interesting experiments on straight carbons made from cotton thread … ,” he began…
One sure sign that you’re getting old is when the decade you grew up in becomes the subject of campy nostalgia. It’s a 20-year cycle, so when I was growing up in the 1970s, we all watched Happy Days and Grease and put on what no doubt were grotesque parodies of 1950s sock hops in our high-school…
75 Years Ago  On September 24 Lt. Jimmy Doolittle made the world’s first completely “blind” flight—taking off, flying a prescribed course, and landing on instruments only. He was in a Consolidated NY-2 “Husky” biplane with two cockpits. Doolittle flew it from the rear cockpit, which was covered in…