Thirty-five years. For most people, the birthday is a bit of a start. While 30 is traditionally a big one, you at least think you’re still young and cool and connected, and besides, you’re still closer to your 20s than your 40s. But 35, though not considered one of the big ones, gets you thinking. You can’t say you’re in your early 30s anymore, and 40 looms oh-so-close.

That’s where American Way is now, and we couldn’t be prouder. Magazines (well, their staffs) take the same sort of reflective look back when a birthday approaches. Just as people may note the occasion by leafing through old photo albums, laughing at the bad hairdos and silly fashion trends and wistfully remembering how young they looked back then, we did the same thing with our archives. We have every issue dating back to the very first one, which debuted in September 1966, and it’s easy to lose hours going through them. But you know how people say, “You look so much better now than you did then”? That’s not a line, with people or with magazines.

Older and wiser? Absolutely. American Way has always been a great magazine, but we’ve learned some things along the way. It’s never been better-looking or more relevant than it is today. Aging gracefully? Perhaps. But looking this good takes work. American Way has the patina of experience that three and a half decades will give you, and just like people do in their careers, and in the mirror, this magazine has learned what works and what doesn’t.

So, while 35 isn’t necessarily a “big one,” we couldn’t let it go by without noting it somehow. First, check out our signature feature, Celebrated Weekend, this time a collection of some of the best celebrities and cities over the years. Next, you’ll find special Trends openers — the quick-hits features that kick off the Travel, Lifestyle, and Business sections — that commemorate our anniversary as well. And make sure to read Time Flies (page 136 in the print edition, not available online), which takes a look at that historic first issue.

Elsewhere, it’s business as usual. Don’t miss the Lifestyle feature, “Army Buddies”, featuring Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, who have yet another promising World War II movie coming up, HBO’s Band of Brothers.

In Business, read the first of our special two-part report on education. Every business story in this issue and the next are dedicated to this question: How can we ensure our kids are prepared for the New Economy? Companies are taking that question seriously, too, and are doing their part to make today’s classroom more relevant to tomorrow’s boardroom.

Happy birthday to us! Let us know what you think at

Elaine Srnka