TIME politics

Hillary Clinton’s E-Mail Trouble Started in 1997

Oct. 20, 1997, cover of TIME
Cover Credit: PATRICK DEMARCHELIER The Oct. 20, 1997, cover of TIME

The former Secretary of State is in hot water over her e-mail usage while in that office. While First Lady, she resolved to overcome a fear of computers

Possible Presidential contender Hillary Clinton may have broken the e-mail rules during her time as Secretary of State, according to a new story in the New York Times. Clinton used her own personal e-mail account to conduct government business, the Times reports.

It’s not the first time Clinton’s e-mail has given her trouble — her use of personal e-mail accounts had been made public at least two years ago, but it was almost two decades ago she didn’t hide the fact that she was, as a TIME cover story about the then-First Lady put it, “computer illiterate.”

That particular story used the First Lady’s 50th birthday as a way to discuss the Baby Boom generation’s maturation: Clinton, newly an empty-nester, was re-examining her life and deciding where to go from there. One possible direction was online:

With Chelsea’s departure, the First Lady who mastered Game Boy has resolved to overcome her phobia of computers. Her chief of staff, Melanne Verveer, lately caught her thumbing through a book called Internet E-Mail for Dummies.

At the time, President Clinton said he imagined the couple retiring one day to sit on a beach as “old people laughing about our lives”; TIME commented that such a future was unlikely to satisfy his wife, who said that she would instead “go on to do something else that I find challenging and interesting.” Years later, there’s no doubt that she made good on that prediction. She may have even overcome her fear of computers. After all, by today’s standards when it comes to “Internet E-Mail,” most people in 1997 were pretty much dummies.

Read the 1997 cover story here, in the TIME Vault: Turning Fifty

TIME photography

Meet the Man who has Photographed Mount Rushmore for Eight Decades

The monument turns 90 years old on March 3. 'People change...but the mountain stays the same,' says Bill Groethe

Bill Groethe was only a baby when Congress first passed legislation authorizing the establishment of a monument to “America’s founders and builders” at Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota, on Mar. 3, 1925. When the work of carving began — an event celebrated by President Coolidge, who wore a cowboy outfit to the ceremony in 1927 — Groethe was too young to care very much.

But that didn’t last long. Groethe, who is now 91, grew up and still lives and works in Rapid City, S.D.. He has seen the monument evolve over the years, and not just with his eyes: Groethe has been photographing Mount Rushmore since 1936.

“The first time I went up to the mountain as an assistant was in 1936 when Franklin Roosevelt was here to dedicate the Jefferson figure,” Groethe tells TIME. “I carried the film bag for my boss. I was 13 years old and I have pictures of me standing by the [president’s] limousine.”

Groethe, who grew up next door to the man who owned what was then his town’s only camera shop, got his first camera at age 10 and ended up working for the photographer Bert Bell by trading his labor for photo supplies. Bell had been sent to photograph South Dakota by the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad in order to drum up interest in tourism and ended up settling in Rapid City.

Courtesy of Bill GroetheBill Groethe holds a camera during his time as a photographer for the Army Air Corps in WWII.

Groethe apprenticed for Bell beginning in 1935 and began to take his own photos with a folding Kodak in 1937. Groethe worked for Bell for another two decades (with the exception of three years during World War II when he was photographer for the Army Air Corps). In 1957, he opened up his own photography business. Groethe also ended up inheriting files from before his own time, of early Mount Rushmore construction; he has thousands of those negatives, from which he still makes prints.

All these years later, Roosevelt’s visit to Rapid City — the occasion for Groethe’s first trip up Mount Rushmore — ranks among his favorite memories of monument. He remembers that people came from several states nearby to attend. TIME noted the following week that the crowd nearly doubled the town’s population. “At a signal from Sculptor Borglum’s daughter, his son, across the valley, dropped the flag, revealing an heroic head of Jefferson, 60 feet from crown to chin,” the magazine reported. “Simultaneously five dynamite blasts sent rock clattering down from the space where Lincoln’s face is to be carved.”

Courtesy of Bill GroetheBill Groethe with his 8×10 camera in front of Mount Rushmore, c. 1990s.

What Groethe remembers of that day is a little different, though no less exciting. “When you’re 13 years old you’re thinking mostly of being lucky to have a job and get to go along and go up in the cable car,” Groethe says. “I continue to have that interest in the mountain, of course. It means a lot to me. I still get a good thrill out of seeing the mountain. It hasn’t changed much. People change and facilities change, but the mountain stays the same.”

Mount Rushmore has not been without its detractors. The mountain is considered defaced by some, for reasons relating to the environment or Native American traditions. But Goethe says that, in his experience, the arguments against the monument don’t take away from its grandeur.

“I can attest to the fact that when I sit at a table [at Mount Rushmore], as I have for the last almost 20 years every week for a day or two in the summer, I have people from Europe and all over Asia come and tell me that all their lives they’ve wanted to come and see Mount Rushmore,” he says. “It’s an international symbol of freedom.”

Read TIME’s original story about FDR’s trip to Rapid City, here in the TIME Vault: Roosevelt & Rain

TIME politics

Here’s What Barbara Mikulski Told People Who Said She Didn’t Look Like a Senator

Barbara A. Mikulski
Terry Ashe—The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski speaking during a Senate Labor Committee hearing in 1987

In her winning 1986 campaign, the Maryland Democrat spoke out against 'code words' that held people back

When Barbara Mikulski — the 78-year-old Maryland Democrat and longest serving woman in Congress, who announced Monday that she will retire in 2016 — ran for Senate in 1986, some people told her she didn’t look like a Senator.

Though she had already spent a decade in Congress, and though she had gotten her start as a community organizer and councilwoman in Baltimore, and though her run for Senate was one of three national contests that year in which both major candidates were women, gender and appearance still played into coverage of the race.

But, as Mikulski made clear, conversation about whether she or any of the other female candidates looked like voters’ ideas of what a politician should be was just a way to keep that image from changing. As TIME wrote then:

In Maryland, Mikulski and [Republican nominee Linda Chavez] are waging tough, no-holds-barred campaigns. Although both women come from ethnic, working-class backgrounds, “we are as different as two people can be,” says Chavez, 39, a cool Hispanic American who is married and makes much of being the mother of three sons. Mikulski, 50, is single, a self-styled scrapper with the sturdy perseverance of a tugboat. She sharply turns aside comments that she does not “look senatorial.” Says the candidate: “A lot of Americans, black or white or female, are always told that they don’t look the part. It’s one of the oldest code words.”

Mikulski won and became the first female Democrat to hold a seat in the Senate not previously held by her husband. As TIME put it back then, she had abandoned “petticoat politics” — an appropriate tactic for the woman who brought the pantsuit to the Senate.

Read the full 1986 story, here in the TIME Vault: No More Petticoat Politics

Read next: How Barb Mikulski Paved the Way for Hillary Clinton’s Pantsuits

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TIME movies

Behind The Sound of Music: Why the Real Maria Went to the von Trapps’

Familie von Trapp
Imagno/Austrian Archives (S)/Getty Images Family Von Trapp singing in a radioshow in London on Dec. 9, 1937

When the movie of The Sound of Music premiered 50 years ago, on Mar. 2, 1965, the world learned the story of would-be nun Maria, whose superiors, at their wits’ end over her flightiness, sent her to work as a governess for an Austrian naval captain with seven children.

But in reality, though Maria and the von Trapp family were real people, some details differed. For example, as TIME reported in 1949, before The Sound of Music was a play or a movie, her reason for going to the family was not quite like the cinematic version:

As a novice in a Salzburg convent, Maria Augusta began to get “bad headaches,” she says, and her superiors decided to give her a vacation helping care for the seven children of the widowed Baron Georg von Trapp. Maria Augusta married the baron, bore him three children.

All the Trapps sang and in 1937 Soprano Lotte Lehmann heard them at it. She insisted that they enter choral competition at the Salzburg Festival that year. They took first prize, but never sang at Salzburg again; ardently Roman Catholic and ardently anti-Nazi, they left home just before Hitler seized Austria.

The story’s description of Maria is about as far from the film’s flibbertigibbet as possible. Rather, she has “the charm and will of a medieval matriarch.”

Interestingly, an earlier TIME story about the Trapp family, from 1938, reported on the Lotte Lehmann anecdote and the family coming to the U.S. to sing, “surpris[ing] many a gas-station attendant with their dirndl dresses and Lederhosen,” with no mention of the Nazis, the actual reason they ended up leaving their homeland. Their transition to living in the U.S. was not completely smooth — though Maria loved long-distance calls, she told TIME that she hated that the envelopes were oblong and that people put mayonnaise on pears — but eventually they settled down in Vermont, where the family still maintains an inn.

Read next: Can Even a Cranky Guy Fall for The Sound of Music?

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Television

7 Historic Moments Downton Abbey Could Tackle Next Season

Downton Abbey, Season 5
Nick Briggs—Carnival Film & Television Ltd/PBS The Season 5 cast of 'Downton Abbey'

What does history hold in store for Season 6 of 'Downton'?

Contains minor spoilers for the fifth-season finale of Downton Abbey

Now that the fifth season of Downton Abbey has concluded for U.S. viewers, fans have begun the annual months-long wait for new news from Lord Grantham and friends.

It’s a wait that tends to be a long one in the real world as well as for the fictional characters: the show, which typically airs in the fall in the U.K. and then in the U.S. at the beginning of the following year, has frequently used the gap between seasons to jump forward in time, which is how the show has covered a dozen years in five seasons.

This past season concludes on Christmas Eve, 1924 — and we know that the show will not take us beyond the ’30s, no matter how far ahead it jumps — so it’s a safe bet that the Crawley family will likely find themselves picking up the plot sometime in the 1925–1927 range. It’s also a safe bet that the show, which has relied on history as a framing device ever since the sinking of the Titanic set the whole story in motion, will play with some of the biggest moments of that era.

So, though little information is known so far about what Season 6 holds for Downton, here are a few guesses as to what next season may hold in store:

1. Even though the rise of Naziism in Germany—and the related death of Michael Gregson—was felt by Edith during the 1924-set season, the years that follow would see much more Hitler, as he was no longer in prison. In July of 1925, his book Mein Kampf was released.

2. Though it’s unlikely to hit the Grantham estate too closely, it would be difficult for the show not to address trouble with the coal industry. Low wages and high unemployment had long led to dissatisfaction among miners; in 1926, that distress was the impetus for a general strike among workers from a wide range of industries. Transportation and the press were among the services affected.

3. It’s extremely unlikely that a television will be installed at Downton Abbey—Lord Grantham is only just getting used to a wireless, after all—but news may trickle down of the birth of a new entertainment medium, especially as it will have been a fairly local innovation. “In London, a concern called Television Ltd. obtained licenses to retail the “televisor,” a radio device invented by John L. Baird of Glasgow that permits “looking in as well as listening in,” TIME reported in 1926. “Broadcasting from a televisor station in London was to begin at once.”

4. If Edith keeps working at her magazine, she’ll likely have cause to report on the 1926 feat of Gertrude Ederle, who became the first woman to swim the English Channel, during a period of what TIME dubbed “feverish eagerness” to attempt the crossing.

5. As babies Sybie, George and Marigold grow, they might read from a first edition of A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh, which was published in 1926.

6. Add this to the list of ways that characters might be killed off: the influenza epidemic of 1926–27. Though not as famous as the Spanish flu outbreak of 1918, the disease was severe enough that TIME noted that it was “increasing throughout western Europe at so alarming a rate that public health officials have come to fear a pandemic, a world-wide occurrence of this disease” and that “Switzerland, Germany England and France have been severely hit.”

7. With Rose, Atticus, Tom and Sybie all looking forward to futures across the pond, here’s some very good news for their prospects as guest stars: as of 1927, it was getting easier than ever to communicate and travel between the U.K. and the U.S. January of that year saw the success of the first transatlantic telephone call, between the president of the American Telephone & Telegraph Co. and the secretary of the General Postoffice of Great Britain. It wasn’t exactly cheap—$25 a minute, according to TIME’s report—but it was more accessible than the year’s other big transatlantic feat: the flight of Charles Lindbergh, who went to London after his famous landing in France. “[The crowds] broke down police barriers, swarmed on the landing-field as soon as his plane was sighted. He swooped down looking for barren ground, saw none, returned skyward,” TIME reported of his arrival in England. “On the second attempt, his plane touched ground, but was forced to rise again because hero-worshipers insisted on dogging his path. His third attempt was rewarded with a clear field. Before he could climb out of his plane, the sea of the mob surrounded him-bowling over women, leaving the official reception committee stranded in the distance.”

No matter which of these events actually makes it onto the show, one thing is certain: Mr. Carson and Lord Grantham will say something about how the world is changing, and they’ll be right.

Read next: Watch Downton Abbey Stars Sort Their Characters Into Hogwarts Houses

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TIME remembrance

How Leonard Nimoy Almost Wasn’t Spock

Gene Roddenberry prevented what would have been a casting catastrophe

News of the death of actor Leonard Nimoy will invariably mention the role for which he was most famous, that of Spock on Star Trek. Nimoy and Spock have been mentioned in the same breath for almost exactly 50 years now, and that’s also as long as he has been loved for the role, even when he wasn’t actively involved in a Star Trek project (and even despite calling his first autobiography I Am Not Spock). In fact, the actor’s very first mention in the pages of TIME was in a 1975 article about how the show’s fan culture had picked up after the cancellation of the original series.

But that pairing of actor and role almost didn’t happen.

As TIME recounted in a 1994 cover story about Star Trek (around the time of Star Trek: Generations, the franchise’s seventh feature film, in which Nimoy did not appear), a lot of the original series’ DNA was added after the 1964 pilot displeased executives at NBC, who requested that the casting be changed up before the show went to production—including Spock, who had been played by Nimoy since the beginning. Thankfully, Gene Roddenberry stepped in to plead Nimoy’s case, and the network was convinced to keep him around.

In a tragic twist, the network also requested that Spock smoke a “space cigarette” in order to please a tobacco company that was one of the show’s sponsors. Roddenberry was able to intervene on that point as well, and surely Spock would approve: Nimoy, who died as a result of lung disease, last year urged his fans to quit smoking.

Read the full 1994 story, here in the TIME Vault: Trekking Onward

TIME Music

Jewel’s Pieces of You at 20: What TIME Said About the Album

July 21, 1997, cover of TIME
Cover Credit: HERB RITTS The July 21, 1997, cover of TIME

The record was released on Feb. 28, 1995

Twenty years after its release, Jewel’s album Pieces of You—featuring hits like “Who Will Save Your Soul” and “Foolish Games”—seems like a key piece of 1995-iana.

But, in 1995, when the album dropped, what TIME had to say about it was…nothing.

As the magazine noted when the singer-songwriter made the cover a few years later, the record that had by then sold more than 5 million copies had at first gone nowhere. It took years of touring for word of mouth to make the difference. By that time, she wasn’t just a star in her own right. She was the face of a trend, as female singers caught the attention of the country. As TIME put it:

This summer female pop stars are clearing out space for themselves, and the season’s usual sea of masculinity is parting. The debut CD by Alaskan pop-folkie Jewel, Pieces of You (Atlantic), has sold more than 5 million copies and is still riding high on the charts. Erykah Badu, with her poetry-slam soulfulness, has sold more than 1 million copies of her brilliant new CD Baduizm (Kedar Entertainment/Universal) and is a headliner on this summer’s neo-soul Smokin’ Grooves Tour. And Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan has masterminded the summer’s most talked-about musical event: Lilith Fair, a traveling show featuring a rotating lineup of 61 female singer-songwriters, including Cassandra Wilson, Tracy Chapman, Fiona Apple, Paula Cole, Jewel and McLachlan herself. There’s a different melody in the air: macho is out; empathy is in. “People want to be given hope,” says Atlantic Records senior vice president Ron Shapiro, “and these female artists are giving young people a life preserver.”

Read the full 1997 Jewel cover story, here in the TIME Vault: Jewel and the Gang

TIME conflict

Who Started the Reichstag Fire?

World War Two
FPG / Getty Images Firemen surveying the ruins following the Reichstag fire in Germany, 1933.

On Feb. 27, 1933, the building was destroyed — and no matter who did it, the Nazis got what they wanted

It’s a semi-mystery that’s over eight decades long: who set fire to the Reichstag, the German parliament, on Feb. 27, 1933?

As described in the Mar. 6, 1933, issue of TIME, the arson came amid “a campaign of unparalleled violence and bitterness” by then-Chancellor Adolf Hitler, in advance of an approaching German election, and it turned a building that was “as famous through Germany as is the dome of the Capitol in Washington among U. S. citizens” into “a glowing hodge-podge of incandescent girders.”

Marinus van der Lubbe, an unemployed Dutch bricklayer linked to the Communist party, was tried and executed for the crime the following year, but even then TIME questioned whether the Nazis who held him responsible were also the ones who had paid him to set the fire, “promising to save his neck by a Presidential reprieve and to reward him handsomely for hiding their identity and taking the whole blame in court.”

In 1981, a West Berlin court declared that the trial had been “a miscarriage of justice,” though they stopped short of saying that he had been innocent. In 2001, evidence emerged that the conspiracy theory had been right along, with historians announcing that the Nazis had been the ones responsible for the fire, though even then others disagreed — and, as recently as 2014, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum noted that “the origins of the fire are still unclear.”

But, while van der Lubbe’s life still hung in the balance, reporting on the aftermath of the fire made clear that, whoever set the spark, the aftermath had already been determined by Nazi powers, in their own favor. Here’s how TIME summed it up just a week after the original report on the fire:

Before German Democracy could thus be downed this week, the Hitler Cabinet had to launch last week a juggernaut of super-suppressive measures & decrees for which they needed an excuse. What excuse could be better than the colossal act of arson which had just sent a $1,500,000 fire roaring through the Reichstag Building […] gutting completely the brown oak Reichstag Chamber and ruining its great dome of gilded copper and glass.

The Reichstag fire was set by Communists, police promptly charged. Over a nationwide radio hookup the Minister of Interior for Prussia, blustering Nazi Captain Hermann Wilhelm Göring, cried: “The Reichstag fire was to have been the signal for the outbreak of civil war! … The Communists had in readiness ‘terror squads’ of 200 each … These were to commit their dastardly acts disguised as units of our own Nazi Storm Troops and the Stahlhelm … The women and children of high Government officials were to have been kidnapped as hostages and used in the civil war as ‘living shields’!…

“The Communists had organized to poison food … and burn down granaries throughout the Reich … They planned to use every kind of weapon—even hot water, knives and forks and boiling oil!…

“From all these horrors we have saved the Fatherland! We want to state clearly that the measures taken are not a mere defense against Communism. Ours is a fight to the finish until Communism has been absolutely uprooted in Germany!”

The “juggernaut” of new decrees included increasing the weaponry provided to Nazi troops (despite violation of the Treaty of Versailles) and the transfer of the majority of state powers from President Paul von Hindenburg to Hitler and his cabinet. Rights ensured by the German constitution were suspended, and a gag rule was placed on foreign journalists within the country, with severe punishments for violation. The German government was moved from Berlin to Potsdam. Within the month, TIME reported that nearly all of the country’s leading Communists and Socialists were in jail. By April, Nazis were using the threat of another fire to ensure the passage of the Enabling Act, which solidified Hitler’s place as dictatorial leader for years to come.

Whether Nazi involvement in the Reichstag fire was direct or indirect or, improbably, nonexistent, the result was the same.

TIME politics

How a Little-Known Supreme Court Case Got Women the Right to Vote

MPI / Getty Images A poster, published by the League of Women Voters, urging women to use the vote which the 19th amendment gave them, from circa 1920

Happy birthday, Leser v. Garnett

Pop quiz: when did women in the United States get the right to vote?

If you answered June 4, 1919, or Aug. 18, 1920 — the dates on which the 19th Amendment was passed and ratified — then you’re almost right. Yes, the Amendment guaranteed that the right to vote could not be denied on account of sex. But the right wasn’t fully secured until this day, Feb. 27, in 1922. That’s when the Supreme Court decided Leser v. Garnett.

Here’s what the case was about: Two Maryland women registered to vote a few months after the 19th Amendment passed. Oscar Leser, a judge, sued to have their names removed from the voting rolls, on the grounds that the Maryland constitution said only men could vote, and that Maryland had not ratified the new amendment to the federal constitution — and in fact, Leser argued, the new amendment wasn’t even part of the constitution at all. For one thing, he said, something that adds so many people to the electorate would have to be approved by the state; plus, some of the state legislatures that had ratified the amendment didn’t have the right to do so or had done so incorrectly.

The Supreme Court found that both arguments flopped: when suffrage had been granted to all male citizens regardless of race the Amendment had held up, despite the change to the electorate, and the ratification powers Leser questioned had in fact been granted by the Constitution. (And in a few states where things were iffy, it didn’t matter because enough other states had ratified.)

So, while the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote, Leser made sure that the right could actually be used, even where the state constitution said otherwise. It’s not one of the more famous Supreme Court decisions in American history, but without it the electorate would be, well, lesser.

TIME Transportation

Why a JetBlue Tweet About ‘Bluemanity’ Was Controversial

LZ-129 Disaster
Sam Shere—Getty Images The Hindenburg disaster at Lakehurst, New Jersey, in 1937

A tongue-in-cheek tweet from the airline didn't go over well. The reason goes back to 1937

JetBlue apologized and deleted a “not well thought-out” tweet on Thursday, after some of the airline’s followers noted that the pun in the tweet—”Oh, the Bluemanity!”—was a reference to one of the 20th century’s worst air-travel disasters. But, though you might expect better from someone who works in the air-travel industry, it’s also easy to see how a social-media writer on the look out for words that rhyme with blue might not have thought about the implications of this particular pun. After all, the disaster to which it refers took place long before commercial aviation in planes was a common travel option.

Here’s the reason why “bluemanity” caused a controversy:

In 1937, travel by dirigible—a means of transportation that uses lighter-than-air gas to stay up—was thought to be the safest way to go. The Hindenburg, one such dirigible, had been making the voyage back and forth between Frankfurt and New Jersey for months already. Its captain had made nearly 200 transatlantic flights. It was, according to a TIME report that year, Nazi Germany’s “greatest transport pride.” Everything was going fine during its first 1937 trip to the U.S., until it came time to land on May 6.

For reasons that were not immediately clear—some suggested sabotage, though static electricity has proven more likely—the hydrogen with which its balloon was inflated caught fire. All 803 ft. of it burned up in about 32 seconds, killing dozens of passengers and crew members. It was, at that point, the worst accident in the history of commercial aviation.

Meanwhile, New Jersey radioman Herbert Morrison was recording a transcription of the landing that would be broadcast the next day; because it wasn’t the first such landing, it wasn’t a big enough deal to cover live. As he narrated what he saw, the poetic tone (it was “like a great feather” at first) turned panicked. TIME reported his words the following week:

“It is practically standing still now. The ropes have been dropped and they have been taken hold of by a number of men on the field. It is starting to rain again. The rain had slacked up a little bit. The back motors of the ship are holding it just enough to keep it—


“Get out of the way! Get this—Charley, get out of the way please! It is bursting into flames. This is terrible! This is one of the worst catastrophes in the world! The flames are 500 ft. into the sky. It is a terrific crash, ladies and gentlemen. It is in smoke and flames now. Oh, the humanity! Those passengers! I can’t talk, ladies and gentlemen! Honest, it is a mass of smoking wreckage. Lady, I am sorry. Honestly, I can hardly—I am going to step inside where I can’t see it. Charley, that is terrible! Listen, folks, I am going to have to stop for a minute because I have lost my voice.”

Morrison’s exclamation—”Oh, the humanity!”—became famous, and hydrogen-filled airships became a matter of history too, as that was pretty much the end of their commercial use. The only upside was that it was also the end of Nazi transportation pride, as Germany did not have any helium, which would have been a safer gas to use for flight.

“The Hindenburg represented the world and for that reason our eyes lighted when we saw its silver grandeur in the sky,” wrote columnist Dorothy Thompson, according to TIME. “It contended with another world which might make it at any moment an object of terror and of hatred.”

Read the full story here in the TIME Vault: “Oh, the Humanity!”

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