The passing of the passion pit…
The Pike, Montgomery, PA
Connecticut photographer Carl Weese uses oversize “banquet cameras” to document that quintessentially-American institution, the drive-in movie. While the first drive-in appeared (in New Jersey) in the early 1930s, their heyday was the golden age of suburbs, the 1950s and 60s. First pitched as a place to bring the whole family (“no matter how noisy the kids are”), drive-ins fell victim to proliferating “hard tops” (as Variety calls indoor theaters); Daylight Savings Time (which shaved an hour out of the evening’s viewing time); the growing availability of feature films on vcr, then cable and dvd (which made for an even more convenient family film night); and rising land prices (which made many “soft tops” comparatively uneconomical to operate). For many teens in the 50s and 60s, the drive-in provided an intimate privacy unavailable elsewhere. That too changed, as TV sets proliferated throughout the rooms of most households… There were over 4,000 drive-ins in operation in the 60s; today, there are under 400.
Deer Lake Drive-In, Deer Lake, PA
[TotH to Co.Design for the photos]
As we learn to pop our own corn, we might note that this date marked the end of one American political thinker’s life, and the beginning of another’s:
Author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat Benjamin Franklin died on this date in 1790.
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety (source)
And on this date in 1854, Benjamin Ricketson Tucker, the champion of “unterrified Jeffersonianism” (AKA American individualist anarchism) was born. Tucker founded and published Liberty, a magazine that featured everything from the social economic ideas of Herbert Spencer and Lysander Spooner to articles on Free Love; it carried George Bernard Shaw’s first article to appear in the U.S. and the first American translations of Friedrich Nietzsche.
Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, these three; but the greatest of these is Liberty. Formerly the price of Liberty was eternal vigilance, but now it can be had for fifty cents a year. (source)