Roger D. McGrath

Chronicles corresponding editor Roger D. McGrath is the author of Gunfighters, Highwaymen, and Vigilantes. A U.S. Marine veteran and former history professor at UCLA, he has appeared on numerous documentaries, including The Real WestBiographyTales of the GunCowboys & Outlaws, and Wild West Tech.


Latest by Roger D. McGrath in Chronicles

Results: 161 Articles found.
  • February 2016

    Lee Marvin, Marine

    I first met Lee Marvin in 1964. I had seen him around town for several years. He lived on Latimer Road in Rustic Canyon, a part of our then small, quaint hamlet of Pacific Palisades.

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  • Dining With The Donald
    November 2015

    Dining With The Donald

    When Donald Trump started making noise about running for president, I knew next to nothing about him. Since I don’t watch television, I’m not sure whether I could even have identified him in a lineup.

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  • A Perversion of History
    September 2015

    A Perversion of History

    If you think the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from the grounds of the South Carolina capitol was the end of flag controversy, you may be surprised to learn that an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times declared, “It’s time California dump” the Bear Flag, “a symbol of blatant illegality and racial prejudice.

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  • Belleau Wood
    July 2015

    Belleau Wood

    Within the Marine Corps the World War I Battle of Belleau Wood is legendary. Outside the Corps it is relatively unknown.

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  • May 2015

    An American Sniper

    A galloglass was a professional warrior hired by an Irish chief. The practice of employing such men became common in the decades following the Norman invasion, when it became obvious that heavily armed and mail-clad fighters were needed to contest the battlefield.

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  • Keep the Water on Your Right
    February 2015

    Keep the Water on Your Right

    Ever since we rode Old Route 66, the guys in our vintage-motorcycle club have been talking about riding the Pacific Coast from Washington back home to Southern California.

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  • December 2014

    Ernie Nevers

    George Nevers and Mary McKenna were married in 1881 in New Brunswick, Canada. He was from an old Sunbury County family, but her parents were immigrants to neighboring York County from Ireland.

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  • Battle of the Journeymen
    November 2014

    Battle of the Journeymen

    The 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I has long been anticipated, judging by the publication of dozens of new books on what was called, until World War II, the Great War, although the Ghastly War might be more appropriate.

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  • The Fighting Chaplain
    October 2014

    The Fighting Chaplain

    Born in 1905 in Roxbury, Massachusetts, Joseph Timothy O’Callahan was reared in a devout Irish Catholic family.

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  • Confiscating Liberty
    September 2014

    Confiscating Liberty

    In Gun Control in the Third Reich Halbrook takes us overseas to see how the Nazis used gun-restrictive laws to oppress people they deemed “enemies of the state.”

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  • Chinese Exclusion
    August 2014

    Chinese Exclusion

    Five years ago, the California state legislature voted to apologize to the Chinese for former laws that discriminated against them, including the federal government’s Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which California congressmen championed.

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  • The Long Sadness
    July 2014

    The Long Sadness

    William Ball was just shy of 19 and living in the town of Souris on the prairies of Canada when war erupted in Europe in August 1914. The region was still something of a frontier, devoted to trapping and trading with Indians, and inhabited by hearty, adventurous types, Ball among them.

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  • Operation Tidal Wave
    June 2014

    Operation Tidal Wave

    It seems that Benghazi is remembered today only for the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic mission there. In the 1940’s and 50’s, though, it was known for launching the planes that conducted Operation Tidal Wave, a brilliant example of the heroism of American airmen, and an equally brilliant example of Murphy’s Law.

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  • Bear Flag Revolt
    April 2014

    Bear Flag Revolt

    Most Americans have no idea that California was once an independent republic and came into the Union, like Texas, without going through a territorial stage. This is symbolized by California’s state seal, which features Minerva, who sprang from Jupiter’s head fully formed.

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  • February 2014

    The Mexican War

    It’s popular in academe today to describe the Mexican War as an example of an aggressive and expansive colossus beating up on a weak neighbor, but that was not the case in 1846. The war was really a second phase of the Texas Revolution.

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  • December 2013

    Japan’s Prelude to Pearl Harbor

    Was Japan’s sneak attack on Pearl Harbor out of character for the chrysanthemum nation? Her actions at Port Arthur, nearly 38 years earlier, suggest otherwise.

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  • October 2013

    A Different Hollywood

    We’ve all heard it dozens of times after another disappointed moviegoer leaves the theater: “They don’t make ’em like they used to.” One reason is the absence today of the kind of men who once made the movies.

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  • Bob Mathias
    August 2013

    Bob Mathias

    One of the greatest Olympians of all time, Bob Mathias, is all but forgotten today. He was born in 1930 in Tulare, in the heart of California’s San Joaquin Valley. Robert Bruce Mathias was his name, but everyone called him Bob.

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  • Old Route 66
    September 2013

    Old Route 66

    For years I’ve wanted to take a motorcycle trip on Old Route 66. I finally got my chance last September, along with other members of the Southern California Norton Owners Club. The ride was open to anyone with a vintage British motorcycle.

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  • June 2013

    Music That Stirs the Soul

    A favorite time for me at John Randolph Club annual meetings is the songfest. Invariably, there is someone in attendance who can sit down at the piano and play all the great, old American tunes that were once familiar to several generations of Americans.

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Results: 161 Articles found.