Life in the City of Angels: Photoshop and Yankee Doodle

Bernie Spirit_of_76

Photoshop Senator Bernie Sanders in the Spirit of 76 (aka Yankee Doodle) painting by American veteran of the Civil War Archibald Willard. Probably no other patriotic picture painted in America has had so wide a circulation as “The Spirit ot ’76.” It is known in every city, town and village, where it can be seen in frames, and on calendars, posters and mailing cards. In the figures of the white-haired old man, the sturdy fifer, and the boy, marching fearlessly forward with drum and fife and waving flag, all the people, old and young, saw three generations of a nation’s protest, and they thrilled at the spectacle so vividly set before them. This picture was born at the precise moment it was most needed. The Centennial was the first attempt at reviving a psychologically and economically depressed nation in the wake of the Civil War, and James Ryder, an inspired promoter, clearly understood this. In front-page newspaper ads on New Years Day, 1876, he declared that “a good sun will rise, HIGH IN THE HEAVENS, clear away the hanging mist, and give a golden tinge of restored prosperity to all.” And he closed “with an abiding faith in YANKEE DOODLE and a belief that AMERICA IS A SUCCESS.” With that resounding affirmation he prepared the way for Willard’s Yankee Doodle chromo to capture the popular imagination.

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