For Christmas, my wife got me the book, Stuff Every American Should Know, by Denise Kiernan and Joseph D'Agnese, published by Quirk Books in 2012. One of the chapters answers the question, why do we have fireworks on the Fourth of July?.
Chinese people invented gunpowder-filled pyrotechnics around the year 0700.
Fireworks were imported to Europe during the time of the Crusades, 1095 to 1291.
Early colonists brought fireworks to North America many years before 1776.
Founding father, John Adams, noted in a letter to his wife that Americans would forever mark the occasion of the country's birth in a grand way. "It ought to be solemnized with pomp, shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of the continent to the other, from this time forward forever."
Fireworks eventually became associated with many major events such as the swearing-in of George Washington as America's first president on April 30, 1789.
Tonight, many (including our neighbors so we get to watch) will celebrate the New Year with fireworks.
This book (available on Amazon) has some fascinating tidbits that I will share in a few blog posts. I recommend it.
Early American history is alive in the lab.