The Declaration of Independence is America’s most cherished symbol of liberty. In the course of just two and a half weeks, Thomas Jefferson wrote the unforgettable phrases that have become so well known over the past 237 years that they are ingrained in the nation’s culture.
Jefferson’s exalting words were all handwritten in a beautiful script. While fewer and fewer school children are being taught today how to read and write in cursive, we can still hope that future generations of Americans will be able to read the profound words that Jefferson so masterfully wrote with pen and paper. (See Handwriting – Tapping into Intuition.)
Today as we celebrate America’s birthday we give a tip of the hat to Thomas Jefferson, and head out to enjoy picnics, parades, and fireworks.
Have you ever wondered how celebrating the Fourth with fireworks got started?
The day in 1776 that the Continental Congress agreed to support the Declaration of Independence, John Adams made this famous statement:
This day will be most memorable in the history of America.
I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival, with pomp and parade, bonfires and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.
And since then all of America has certainly done its best to follow through on Adam’s exhortations.
So, the answer to why fireworks on the Fourth of July is that it was part of America’s Independence Day celebrations right from the very beginning.
And from Adams’ statement it’s clear that he and the populace already knew about fireworks.
That’s because fireworks – stuffing gun powder into hollow bamboo tubes – was first used by the Chinese as far back as the 7th century.
The noise was so loud that the Chinese used fireworks to scare off evil spirits, and thus setting off these things that created loud bangs became an important part of each and every festival.
Fireworks and that tradition traveled around the globe. While the evil spirit connection did vanish, the thrill of pyrotechnics made fireworks indispensible to festivals of all kinds.
Over the centuries the improved technology of manufacturing fireworks has made them even more popular, and today they are produced with dazzling color, amazing shapes, and sounds that are more fun than just a big boom.
Fireworks have been with Americans since the nation’s very beginning, and now more fireworks are ignited for the Fourth of July than for any other national celebration in the world.
Whether you are celebrating the Fourth in a big city with spectacular fireworks displays, or in small town America with home-grown parades and sparklers – Happy Fourth of July!