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Yesterday marked the 245th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and the United States were born. In a letter to his wife, Abigail Adams, John Adams wrote that the Second of July—the day the Declaration as a resolution passed the Second Continental Congress—would be
“the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.—I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with4 Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”
Move that to the Fourth of July, and Adams was essentially describing our national celebration of America’s birthday. The festivities that Adams described—with due allowance for “solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty”—are quite noisy and fun.
It’s little wonder, then, that a central part of our Independence Day celebrations—indeed, often the highlight of such celebrations—is fireworks.
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