Last year, leading up to the 4th of July, I asked about how fireworks work. In advance of this year’s Independence Day, I have another firework related question…
Why Fireworks On The 4th of July?
Fireworks have become as patriotic as apple pie, hotdogs, and seeing how many hotdogs & apple pies we can stuff into our mouth in one minute. I’ve always just accepted fireworks on the 4th, but how did that begin?
According to Slate.com, the tradition of having fireworks on July 4th is all thanks to one man…John Adams.
Adams felt that the best way to mark the signing of the Declaration of Independence was to use fireworks. In a letter to Abigail Adams on July 3, 1776, he said that the occasion should be commemorated “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.”
One year later on July 4, 1777, the Independence Day festivities in Philadelphia included a fireworks show. The Pennsylvania Evening Post wrote, “The evening was closed with the ring of bells, and at night there was a grand exhibition of fireworks (which began and concluded with thirteen rockets) on the Commons, and the city was beautifully illuminated.”
Also, that same year, fireworks filled the sky in Boston. The Boston Gazette reported, “In the evening Col. Crafts illuminated his park on the commons, threw several shells, and exhibited a number of fireworks.”
As the years progressed, fireworks became available to the general public and more and more cities joined in on this colorful custom. Today you do not have to look hard to find a 4th of July celebration featuring, “Pomp and Parade” & Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”
All thanks to John Adams.
Photo credit: Wikipedia