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Friday, 03 July 2020 19:33

The Thirteen Colonies

The Thirteen Colonies were a group of colonies of Great Britain on the Atlantic coast of America founded in the 17th and 18th centuries which declared independence in 1776 and formed the United States of America. The Thirteen Colonies had very similar political, constitutional, and legal systems, and were dominated by Protestant English-speakers. The New England colonies (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire) were founded primarily for religious beliefs, while the other colonies were founded for business and economic expansion. All thirteen were part of Britain's possessions in the New World, which also included colonies in Canada, Florida, and the Caribbean.

The colonial population grew from about 2,000 to 2.4 million between 1625 and 1775, displacing Native Americans. This population included people subject to a system of slavery which was legal in all of the colonies prior to the American Revolutionary War. In the 18th century, the British government operated its colonies under a policy of mercantilism, in which the central government administered its possessions for the economic benefit of the mother country.

The Thirteen Colonies had a high degree of self-governance and active local elections, and they resisted London's demands for more control. The French and Indian War (1754–63) against France and its Indian allies led to growing tensions between Britain and the Thirteen Colonies. During the 1750s, the colonies began collaborating with one another instead of dealing directly with Britain. These inter-colonial activities cultivated a sense of shared American identity and led to calls for protection of the colonists' "Rights as Englishmen", especially the principle of "no taxation without representation". Conflicts with the British government over taxes and rights led to the American Revolution, in which the colonies worked together to form the Continental Congress. The colonists fought the American Revolutionary War (1775–83) with the aid of the Kingdom of France and, to a much smaller degree, the Dutch Republic and the Kingdom of Spain. Just prior to declaring independence, the Thirteen Colonies consisted of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Published in Headline News:

The coronavirus has turned the entire entertainment industry on it's ear. But there is a silver lining for one part of the business that is reconnecting with the movie hungry public. The rebirth of the drive-in has been prompted by the need for social distancing and the memory of the days of past.

The COVID-19 virus has led us to look back to find a path forward. Drive-in theatres should continue to be a popular new norm in American life long after COVID-19 is behind us.

Drive-in's are an American creation that was introduced 87 years ago in Camden, New Jersey. Richard Hollingshead came up with the idea, while working as a sales manager in his father's store, Whiz Auto Products. In 1941 in-car audio speaker technology was developed. This new technology allowed theaters to be built across the country. In 1958, there were 4,063 drive-ins in the United States. Now there are less than 450.

Even though drive-in's have bee on the decline for years, they still have a loyal audience. At a time when patronizing traditional theaters poses a problem with social distancing, drive-in's are providing a safe way to experience movies and other forms of entertainment. American ingenuity is alive and well as many traditional theaters are in the process of converting their parking lots into drive-ins.

Pandemic or not, drive-in's have many reasons that should prompt you to consider attending one. People have space to spread out and they aren't sitting on top of one another. The introduction of FM and Bluetooth makes it easily to have stereo sound right in your own car. Drive-in's are still a great place for date night. High-quality movies will look just great projected on these giant outdoor screens.

While drive-ins associated primarily with movies, that doesn't have to stay that way. At the height of their popularity (during the 1950s and the 1960s) drive-in theaters offered more than just a movie. They also had concession stands, contests and fireworks and of course the double-feature.

The drive-in is generally thought to be better suited to family movies, action flicks, and horror films, but during the height of their popularity, exploitation films were a large part of their appeal.

Technological improvements and a little American Ingenuity are making it possible to use the drive-in for concerts. This idea is being tested in different parts of the country. In May 2020 at the Tupelo Music Hall in Derry, New Hampshire a concert was played at noon and 3 p.m. The first performance had a decent attendance, but the second performance was sold out with 75 cars, each paying the $75-per-vehicle fee.

Recently Keith Urban and DJ D-Nice held drive-in concerts paying tribute to frontline healthcare workers and first responders. Other drive-in concerts like these are being planned across the country. Many of these will offer listeners the opportunity to use their car sound systems for a stereo experience much like they heard in past live concerts.

Technological improvements like these allow people to see event movies on really big screens with an enhanced experience. Sitting under the stars might just make the experience more memorable than sitting in a large area.


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