What African Americans could not achieve in the courtroom they did in the dance hall, with the invention of a rebellious, and wholly American, new musical artform.
Editor's Note: Brent Glass is Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and the author of 50 Great American Places: Essential Historic Sites Across the U.S., from which this essay is adapted.
Can the disasters that befell other cities help save this one?
THE NEGLECTED EPIC OF ANDREW JACKSON HIGGINS
What do you need to build the only national museum dedicated to World War II? The same things we needed to fight the war it commemorates: faith, passion, perseverance—and a huge amount of money.
American jazz musicians once enjoyed a freedom and respect in France’s capital that they could never win at home. Landmarks of that era still abound.
For all the books and films that have been done about painters and writers who went to Paris, far less has been written about the lives of musicians from the United States who settled there, some for a while, a few for their whole lives.
A BOLD NEW KIND OF COLLEGE COURSE BRINGS the student directly to the past, nonstop, overnight, in squalor and glory, for weeks on end
Seventy-five years ago this month, a not especially good band cut a record that transformed our culture
About 325,000 jazz performances have been recorded for commercial release in the twentieth century, according to the Institute for Jazz Studies, at Rutgers University. Plus thousands more have been taken from radio and concert events.
But was Louis Moreau Gottschalk America’s first musical genius or simply the purveyor of sentimental claptrap?
Even for a city that prided itself on being a preeminent center of European musical activity, the Parisian concert debut of Louis Moreau Gottschalk on April 2, 1845, was a singular occasion.
With astonishing tenacity, the people of the rich river-mouth region of the Mississippi have remained what and where they are through two and a half centuries
Just a few decades more, or so we are told, and the process of the homogenization of America will have been completed.
Could he have beaten Bobby Fischer?
Oliver Wendell Holmes once celebrated Americans as a people “which insists in sending out yachts and horses and boys to outsail, out-run, out-fight, and checkmate all the rest of creation.” The concluding champion on his list was Paul Charles Morphy, whose yo
Nicholas Roosevelt’s fire canoe transformed the Mississippi.
The old house, many-hued in ruin, stands rotting, some thirty miles above New Orleans, farther from the changing river bed than in its youth, deserted, its records mostly forgotten; but it speaks of the land of the Acadians, of the Bayous Teche, Vermillion and LaFourche and of a distinctive people. Acadians lived here for many years. They did not build the old mansion, to be sure, for that was the work of the Creoles, the aristocrats.