Independence and Fireworks – July 4th Facts

Uhhmmm.. History class will begin

As we know today is July 4th – which is the celebration of America declaring their independence from Great Britain in 1776 with the writing of the Declaration of Independence by greats such as John Hancock, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.  The steps for independence started in June of 1776 with an unofficial/secretive vote taking place on July 2.  The Continental Congress worked hard putting the text together and on July 8 the residents of Philidelphia celebrated with public readings and bonfires. 

 Some historical forms of observance of this day include(as cited from Wikipedia):

  • In 1777, thirteen guns were fired, once at morning and again as evening fell, on July 4 in Bristol, Rhode Island. Philadelphia celebrated the first anniversary in a manner a modern American would find quite familiar: an official dinner for the Continental Congress, toasts, 13-gun salutes, speeches, prayers, music, parades, troop reviews and fireworks. Ships were decked with red, white and blue bunting.
  • In 1783, Moravians in Salem, North Carolina held the first celebration of the Fourth of July in the country with a challenging music program assembled by Johann Friedrich Peter. This work was titled the Psalm of Joy.
  • In 1791, the first recorded use of the name “Independence Day”.
  • In 1941, the U.S. Congress made Independence Day a federal paid holiday.

Now 4th of July is associated with family outings, special parades, and other events ending the day with tons of Fireworks. A typical firework show on the 4th is joined with various patriotic songs such as “The Star-Spangled Banner” and depending where you live “Yankee Doodle” and “Dixie“.  The firework is a a low explosive pyrotechnic device which was originally invented by the Chinese.  Typical effects of fireworks are noise, light, smoke, and sometimes floating materials. 

Fireworks have recently been getting heat due to some of the negative impacts caused to the environment especially with global warming.  Fireworks are pollutants to air, water, land, as well to some humans.  Thankfully the world is starting to thing of innovative ways to have celebrate holidays like 4th of July with (Disney now using environmentally benign compressed air) or without fireworks that are beneficial to our mother Earth.  Here is a link to a very interesting article on fireworks and the environment.

Happy 4th

Marisa & Maranda


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