Happy 4th of July, friends! I hope everyone is enjoying and celebrating responsibly! I’m enjoying the day off and fireworks on the East River tonight! Will probably grab some ice cream and watch (hopefully the rain holds off).
On July 4, 1776, the thirteen colonies claimed their independence from England (the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain actually occurred on July 2, 1776), an event which eventually led to the formation of the United States.
“It will 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, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”
-John Adams in a letter to his wife, Abigail
Some historical 4th of July celebrations:
- Held since 1785, the Bristol Fourth of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island is the oldest continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States.
- Since 1972, Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City
- Since 1959, the International Freedom Festival is jointly held in Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario during the last week of June each year as a mutual celebration of Independence Day and Canada Day (July 1). It culminates in a large fireworks display over the Detroit River.
- The famous Macy’s fireworks display usually held over the East River in New York City has been televised nationwide on NBC since 1976. In 2009, the fireworks display was returned to the Hudson River for the first time since 2000 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s exploration of that river.
- The Boston Pops Orchestra has hosted a music and fireworks show over the Charles River Esplanade called the “Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular” annually since 1973.
- On the Capitol lawn in Washington, D.C., “A Capitol Fourth”, a free concert, precedes the fireworks and attracts over half a million people annually.