Jul 4

Happy Independence Day America

The holiday celebrates the Second Continental Congress’ unanimous adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, a document announcing the colonies’ separation from Great Britain.

One year later, according to the Library of Congress, a spontaneous celebration in Philadelphia marked the anniversary of American independence.

How did fireworks become a part of the Fourth of July tradition?

The display of pyrotechnics has been a big part of Independence Day from the outset. Founding Father John Adams saw it coming.

Commemoration of America’s independence “ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more,” Adams wrote in a letter to his wife, Abigail, dated July 3, 1776.

Fireworks were around centuries before America became a nation. The American Pyrotechnics Association says many historians believe fireworks were first developed in the second century B.C. in ancient China by throwing bamboo stalks into fires, causing explosions as the hollow air pockets overheated.

By the 15th century, fireworks were widely used for religious festivals and public entertainment in Europe and early U.S. settlers carried on those traditions, the association said.

11 Responses to “Happy Independence Day America”

  1. Craig F

    Once many years ago as an NPS employee I got to go watch the fireworks in DC from atop the Lincoln Memorial. It was great! Never going to top that one. In general I don’t really like exploding things, it makes me feel like finding a trench for avoiding the blasts. Don’t mean to be a kill joy. I hope everyone has a great time, the whole thing is past my bedtime. If we took off the day after the fireworks, that would be the best. Our country is the best, we must remain unified, plenty of other governments actively work to foment discord among us. Don’t fall for it. I liked it when we began the school day each morning with the pledge of allegiance. One Country Under God Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All! Let’s be that.

    • Charles R

      Bravo Craig F. I remember those grade school days of starting the day with the Pledge of Allegiance. I wonder if many schools still do this? The 4th was such a special day growing up. An Aunt and Uncle had house on the high banks of Sanford Lake in Midland County, MI. Every year they would throw and all day 4th of July gathering. All my Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents on my Mothers side would show up and that was a total of 11 families, with at least 40 cousins. We were a tight nit family and very patriotic.

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