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Home News Celebrating Freedom: Why We Light Up the Night with Fireworks on July 4th

Celebrating Freedom: Why We Light Up the Night with Fireworks on July 4th

Celebrating Freedom: Why We Light Up the Night with Fireworks on July 4th

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The Fourth of July fireworks celebration extends back to our country’s founding.

Nearly all of our Fourth of July celebrations in America center around fireworks. However, if you ask most people if they know when this practice started, they might not know the answer.

The idea for the festive custom was first proposed in 1776. Here’s a brief Look at the history of Fourth of July and why the holiday is celebrated with fireworks.

1. When did Fourth of July fireworks first gain popularity?

The first organized Fourth of July celebrations occurred in Philadelphia in 1777. The event lit the night sky with fireworks.

The sound of bells rang at the end of the evening. The Pennsylvania Evening Post reported that “at night, there was a grand exhibition of fireworks (which began and concluded with 13 rockets) on the Commons, and the city was beautifully illuminated.”

“Everything was done with the utmost decorum and order, and everyone was beaming with patriotism and happiness,” according to the Pennsylvania Evening Post.

Boston city officials also lit off fireworks on July 4, 1777. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the public could purchase fireworks in 1783, and the custom has persisted ever since.

2. What is the origin of the custom of lighting off fireworks?

President John Adams dreamed in 1776 that a starry sky would forever honor the 13 colonies that would soon become independent. He expressed this idea in a letter to his wife, Abigail.

On July 3, 1776, the future second president of the United States penned a letter that included the following quote: “I am apt to suppose that it will be regarded, by succeeding Generations, as the grand anniversary Festival.

“It 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,” the National Archives states.

The Declaration of Independence was approved by participants in the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia just one day later, on July 3, 1776.

While some public readings of the Declaration of Independence on July 8 in Pennsylvania and New Jersey were greeted by “impromptu celebrations” from local militia, a traditional fireworks show would not light up the sky for another year,” according to

3. Exactly what took place on July 4, 1776?

The Declaration of Independence was approved by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. It followed that the 13 colonies became free of Great Britain. As a result, the United States of America was founded.

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