Featured Articles

A voucher scheme brings back unwelcome memories

March 31, 2005

In 1984, Mark White, then governor of Texas, gave South Carolina’s Governor Richard Riley a pair of cowboy boots. Mr. Riley promptly vowed that the boots would stay on his feet until the South Carolina legislature passed his package to reform the public schools. Several weeks later, he prised them off. After an election-style campaign, his cherished Education Improvement Act had got through. It ushered in one of the country’s most successful programmes—so successful that, on the strength of it, Mr. Riley became Bill Clinton’s secretary of education.

Read More

Yes, he did: Strom Thurmond’s Daughter

December 20, 2003

It often happened in the segregated South a century or two ago: a powerful white man fathered mixed-race children with a black slave or servant. Until this week, Thomas Jefferson’s relationship with Sally Hemings was the most famous of these once-secret liaisons. Now comes a rival: the late Senator Strom Thurmond, whose 24-hour filibuster against a 1957 civil rights bill is still the longest-ever speech on the Senate floor.

Read More