The history of fireworks is a long one…even in our young United States.
We celebrated our first Independence Day with a fireworks display in 1777, six years before we could be certain we would survive the American Revolutionary War! After signing the Declaration of Independence, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that the day should be celebrated “with pomp and parade…bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward for ever more.” And in 1789, on the evening following the inauguration of our first president, George Washington, right here at Federal Hall in New York, the city celebrated with fireworks.
The invention of fireworks, probably accidental, took place in seventh-century China. One story says that a cook mixed three ingredients in a kitchen and the result ended up burning down the house! Another story says that a group of travelers ran out of wood for a fire and used bamboo, which started popping. People began experimenting with the different mixtures, changing the explosive effects and colors. The Chinese began using fireworks at many of their important festivals and eventually the knowledge of creating these pyrotechnic displays spread and developed in other cultures.
We hope you get a chance to enjoy a fireworks show this Fourth of July! Join us for firework painting, a presidential history hunt, and free popcorn and lemonade – Kids get in FREE!