Friday, May 19, 2017

The Town Crier

Prior to the advent of literacy, town criers were the means of communication with the people of the town since many people could not read or write. Proclamations, local bylaws, market days, advertising, were all proclaimed by a bellman or crier. The town crier could also be used to make public announcements in the streets.

"Social Dancers do not really care if you cannot dance well,
just get up, move to that beautiful music, you'll dance."

Criers often dress elaborately, by a tradition dating to the 18th century, in a red and gold coat, white breeches, black boots and a tricorne hat. They carried a hand bell to attract people's attention, as they shouted the words "Hear Ye." Criers were not always men, many town criers were women. Bells were not the only attention getting device - in the Netherlands, a gong was the instrument of choice for many, and in France a drum was used, or a hunting horn.

"Vaya Con Dios" by Les Paul and Mary Ford

In 1690, the first colonial newspaper in America, Publick Occurrences, was printed by Richard Pierce and edited by Benjamin Harris in Boston. This was the first true multi-page colonial newspaper. However, it was suppressed after its first edition by the British governor. America's first continuously-published newspaper, the Boston News-Letter was published on April 24, 1704. John Campbell, a bookseller and postmaster of Boston, was its first editor, printing the newspaper on what was then referred to as a half-sheet.

"Young At Heart"
by Frank Sinatra

James and younger brother Ben Franklin began publishing the Courant in Boston in 1721 The Courant was soon considered controversial, and James was imprisoned for four weeks in 1722 for writing "scandalous libel". The paper was suppressed in 1727 and they left Boston in the same year. Ben Franklin went on to become a great publisher. Fifty years later, it was included in the first amendment of the new constitution of the United States, "Freedom Of The Press." And now in process of being modified by the Trump republicans.

"Social Dancers in a social dance environment do not
take suggestions as an insult."

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