Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Reporting live

I've now spent many Fourths of July in Philadelphia, and in case you're pining to know what it's like to spend Independence Day here Where It All Started, I will tell you:

It is beastly hot. And humid.

You're welcome! Wasn't that illuminating?

But seriously, when I experience the sauna that is the mid-Atlantic region in July, and think about the good old days before air conditioning and even electric fans, when I remember how much more clothing they wore in those days and how many fewer baths they took, well--I am amazed that a bunch of guys were able to come together in these conditions and craft a joint writing project, especially one so vital to their futures.

Perhaps it's only writers who think about the writing-process side of the Declaration of Independence, but there's more on this topic over at Cynthia Chapman Willis's blog today. And even more here.

And if you want to read about the self-evident truths firsthand, the full text of the Declaration is here.

6 comments:

  1. I live a whopping thirty seconds outside of the city, but my husband is working outdoors all day today in Center City Philly, and I do not envy him! I have my AC blasting and I refuse to even step outside.

    All the time I think about how lucky I am in that I can wear shorts, knee length dresses, tank tops. I have air conditioning and a fridge. I don't know how they tolerated it back then, but I sure am thankful for all the advances.

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    1. I guess they were more used to it out of necessity, but still--ninety degrees is ninety degrees!

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  2. I've often wondered how the weather affected the crafting of the Declaration. I too think the fact that it was so carefully and well-written during some of the most extreme temperatures on the continent is an added tribute to our forefathers.

    Thanks for the link. It's been quite a while since I read that piece of excellent prose.

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  3. Thanks for the mention and link, Jenn! I love Independence Day and often wonder how our forefathers managed with all that clothing and heat without AC. Yikes! I read somewhere that they often met in rooms with the windows sealed, as well, so as not to be overheard. Most impressive.

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    1. Perhaps it worked as an incentive for them to reach agreements. "As soon as we find common ground on this section, we can go out and sit in the shade." ;-)

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