August 5-Today-250 Years Ago

Americanism Redux August 5, 250 years ago today Lay the paper flat on the table. Hold the edges down. Write the terms of agreement. Sign your name. Change our world. Today, in Vienna, Joseph II, co-emperor of Austria with his mother, Maria Theresa, announces his written agreement to a plan that divides up the eastern portion of the fledgling nation of Poland. Frederick II, king of … [Read more...]

July 29-Today-250 Years Ago

Americanism Redux July 29, 250 years ago today It's a river called "Mad", flowing into a river called "Big Waters", or Miami as it's known in the language of one native people, flowing into a river so appealing that another native people used their rival language to find the word for "Beautiful"... The Ohio. In these watered lands a four-year old boy lives with a large family. His … [Read more...]

July 23 – Today – 250 Years Ago

Americanism Redux July 23, 250 years ago today He is, literally, a hot head on this summer day. It's hard not to be when you've got sweat on your head. The sweat of his scalp spreads out from the roots of his hair. The woven fibers laying over them are soaking up the perspiration. His nose detects the faintest scent of olive oil, a sign that his servant has cleaned the fibers while … [Read more...]

July 16

Americanism Redux July 16, 250 years ago today July 16, 250 years ago today My best friend. Does she think I don't care anymore? Holding a letter signed and sealed and sent from Newport, Rhode Island, the 19-year old girl reads the lines and realizes her best friend didn't receive the last letter she'd written a while ago. The thick paper shook slightly in her thin, almost frail … [Read more...]

July 9

Americanism Redux July 9 If you could see his hands, you'd know what he did. Black stains fill the lines and wrinkles on his hand, fill the tiny crevices around his fingernails. 250 years ago today. He is a printer, one of the most influential and successful owner-operators of a media company in colonial Philadelphia. 58-year old David Hall watches as today's edition of the four-page … [Read more...]

July 4

He decides. Today, 250 years ago in 1772. Freedom for me. I'm breaking away from the doctor. Sure, he bought me. Sure, a signed document sealed the deal. Sure, my freedom is gone in exchange for being here in a strange land. None of it matters, he tells himself. Now is the time. He makes his own personal declaration of independence in the shadow of the Pennsylvania State House on Walnut Street … [Read more...]

July 1

For him, it was a long day on a business trip. Hoping to find new clients, maybe yes, maybe no. Now, moon rising, he's lonely being away from his family. He's 36 years old, stuck for tonight in a small, isolated coastal town. In a guest room strange to him with a candle glowing next to the bed, he reaches for a paper-bound book in his travel bag. The book is a stage play, banned from public … [Read more...]