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The History of Fireworks in America


Every Fourth of July, we celebrate America’s freedom with a grand display of fireworks. But do you know the reason why we light up the sky every Independence Day? You may be on summer break, but learning never stops! Here’s the history of fireworks in America.

There’s a famous song in America that goes something like “And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.” Recognize it? Of course you do, but what you may not know is that the phrase comes from the Battle of Fort Mchenry (also known as the Battle of Baltimore) where our traditional celebration with fireworks came to be.

In the fall of 1814, the War of 1812 was still at large. An attorney known as Francis Scott Key boarded a British ship attempting to negotiate the release of an American prisoner of war. During that time, Key discovered Britain’s plan to attack Fort Mchenry and was thus promptly held detained by the British so that he could not foil their plans.

That night, Key was the major witness of a large battle. As he watched the night sky light up, he could see the American flag in the distance. That symbol not only encouraged him to hold on to hope, but inspired him to write a poem that we now know as the “Star Spangled Banner.”

As a tribute to Francis Scott Key, America now celebrates Independence Day every Fourth of July by lighting the sky with fireworks.

Although Key is our greatest attribution to the fireworks show, the idea of fireworks started all the way back on July 4, 1776 when our Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, declaring America to be its own country independent from Britain. Thereafter, John Adams stated that this day should be long remembered and celebrated with parades, games and “illuminations,” otherwise known as fireworks.

As you celebrate America’s freedom this weekend, we hope you remember the brave men like Francis Scott Key and John Adams who worked to shape our country to what we enjoy today. Don’t forget, we will be celebrating at Ceour D’alene’s Fourth of July Festival. Come stop by our booth and say hello, and get a free pair of iSucceed sunglasses from us! We hope you have a great Independence Day!

  • How are you celebrating this Fourth of July? Share with us in the comments below!

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