Fun and Fireworks on The 4th of July
Why are firecrackers a centerpiece of our Independence Day celebrations?
The 4th of July is when we commemorate our country declaring national independence from Great Britain. The long day of summer festivity and family picnics always culminates with a nighttime celebratory show of color, sparkles, flares, and rocket sounds streaming across the sky. Why do we watch fireworks displays to mark the birth of our nation? What is the history of this patriotic tradition? Well, we found a few facts on how that began.
On July 3, 1776, John Adams, who became the second President of the United States, wrote a letter to his wife, Abigail. He told her that the pending signing of the Declaration of Independence should usher in a fantastic annual festivity 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.
In 1777, Congress backed “a grand exhibition of fireworks” in Philadelphia, complete with 13 rockets to honor the original 13 colonies. Boston launched its own fireworks show that year, and New York plus other states soon followed. This exuberant annual 4th of July tradition in the U.S. was thus established.
But the fireworks don’t begin until nightfall. How about some star-spangled craft fun during the day? Like students stringing together stars, they cut out of red, white, and blue felt. Or, they can make cards with 4th of July stickers on the front, and write short poems about independence on the backs. Then, refresh in the summer heat with delicious medleys of blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, sliced bananas, and even a spoonful of vanilla ice cream or cubes of white cheese.
Students can also make their own fireworks at home, with the help of grownups who want to join in the holiday fun. Enjoy yourselves, everyone, though do take safety precautions. Read here on how to make fun fireworks and stay safe
There’s even more to do! Here’s K-12 Learning Liftoff, with more to say on safe, fun activities for the 4th