Why Do We Shoot Off Fireworks on the 4th of July?


"The bombs bursting in air" is a phrase from The Star-Spangled Banner, which was written in 1814. That was 38 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which is what is being celebrated on the 4th of July. (Of course, you probably already knew that.)

The reason we use fireworks as part of the 4th of July celebration is this:

John Adams (a Founding Father and signer of the Declaration), wrote a letter to his wife, and said that Independence Day "will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America…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, with Shews [performances], Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations [fireworks] from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more." 

And so that is what Americans do today.





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