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1976 A Roaring Silence

Paul McGuirk | United States

Billboard, Train stop, Princeton NJ

By 1975 we as a nation had witnessed the end to a long contested war and a scandal that for the first time in our history forced a president to resign. In the background the prep work and servings for the nations 200th birthday party were being plated.

It was my good fortune to be living in Philadelphia close to the epicenter just as the party planners were pulling into town. The official Bicentennial events began on April fools day 1975 in Boston and culminated July 4th 1976. Knowing I wouldn’t be here for the tri-centennial I devoted my time and attention to recording this comet that showed itself in my hemisphere.

The symbols and fashions of the celebration mingled as casual partners throughout the year making a style of the 18th century appear easy on the eye while the century’s revolutionary ideas seemed harder to show off. Regardless of the actions re-enactors, revelers, or protesters had, our public space looks quaint and quiet 35 years past compared to the gauntlet it is today.

 All images were recorded on Kodak Tri - X film. My camera was a Leica M2 and lenses used were 35, 50 & 21 mm. 

None of these images have been digitally manipulated in any way.


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