Writing from India, one of the stops in his nine-month honeymoon, Nelson Rockefeller could hardly contain his enthusiasm for his favorite wedding present. Along with politics and modern art, fast cars would remain a life-long passion:
February 5, 1931
I'm so thrilled about the new Lincoln that I don't know what to do. Can Mr. Gumbel arrange to have it delivered before we get back so we can have it first thing? We would like the following:
Car -- 1 Lincoln with Le Baron convertible roadster body.
Paint -- Black all over with six chromium plated wire wheels with an aluminum paint stripe running the length of the body and hood.
Excesories -- On trunk behind
Upholstery -- Black leather with a set of covers of lighter color (same for the wheels on the side).
Top -- This was to be of a tannish (light) colored cloth.
If you can arrange, I'll be a friend of yours for life. I get so excited just writing about it that I don't know what to do. I really think it is going to be the smartest car in New York.
Oh! One more thing! Can you have my initials -- just plane in block letters done on the aluminum paint -- on both doors.
[Rockefeller’s original spelling and grammar are retained. From The Rockefeller Century: Three Generations of America’s Greatest Family, by John Harr and Peter J. Johnson. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1988]
Robert E. Lee, the leading Confederate general of the American Civil War, remains a source of fascination and, for some, veneration.
In the decade after the Civil War, former slaves sing their way into a nation's heart with spirituals, the religious anthems of slavery.
A writer's childhood and the development of her photography and writing about the American South.
A new religion called spiritualism affected the nation in the era of Abraham Lincoln, P. T. Barnum and Frederick Douglass.
From a small-town Texas murder emerged a landmark civil rights case that successfully challenged Jim Crow-style discrimination against Mexican Americans.
Their intense faith and strict adherence to 300-year-old traditions have by turn captivated and repelled, awed and irritated, inspired and confused America.
Richard Sears and Alva Curtis Roebuck brought consumer goods to the hands of every American with their Sears and Roebuck catalogue.
Newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst fought to suppress a film by Orson Welles, a film that would become one of cinema's masterpieces.