July 4, 2018: The staff of MyhometownBronxville wishes you a very Happy Fourth of July.
Here are a few interesting facts about July 4th.
On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence and on July 4 officially adopted the final version of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence became official on August 2, 1776, when most of the delegates had signed it.
"John Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest." history.com.
John Adams wrote to his wife: "The Second Day of July 1776, 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." National Park Service, nps.gov.
The Declaration of Independence was first read publicly in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776, accompanied by the ringing of bells and band music. On July 4 of the following year, Philadelphia adjourned Congress and celebrated with bonfires, bells, and fireworks. July 4th celebrations then spread across the country and the day is now a federal holiday.
"On America's first Fourth of July celebration in 1777, fireworks were one color: orange. There were no elaborate sparkles, no red, white, and blue stars--nothing more than a few glorified (although uplifting) explosions in the sky." Smithsonian Science Education Center, ssec.si.edu.
Colors were added to fireworks in the 1880s. "Italian pyrotechnicians add color to fireworks with chlorinated powder and metallic salts (strontium = red, barium = green, copper = blue, sodium = yellow). Using potassium chlorate as an oxidizer makes the hues brighter." popularmechanics.com. This year's Macy's fireworks will have 25 colors.
"The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) estimates that more than 14,000 fireworks displays light up U.S. skies each 4th of July." nationalgeographic.com
"On every Fourth of July, at 2pm Eastern time, children who are descendants of Declaration signers symbolically tap the Liberty Bell 13 times while bells across the nation also ring 13 times in honor of the patriots from the original 13 states." u.s.history.org
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died within five hours of each other on July 4, 1826, and James Monroe died on July 4, 1831.
That John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826, "'may be the most extraordinary coincidence in all of history. On the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the declaration...the two giants of the declaration both died. ... Jefferson died first. Adams was alive, of course, in Massachusetts. He didn't know that Jefferson had died but said, famously, perhaps apocryphally, that "Jefferson still lives." And people took that to mean his words will live forever.'" Kenneth C. Davis, author of the Don't Know Much About series, as quoted at cbsnews.com.
Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4, 1872. Other famous Americans born on July 4 include Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804), Stephen Foster (1826), Rube Goldberg (1883), Neil Simon (1927), Abigail Van Buren and Ann Landers (1918), and Malia Obama (1998).
"It's so hot, you could fry an egg on the sidewalk" ... but can you? "An egg needs a temperature of 158°F to become firm. In order to cook, proteins in the egg must denature (modify), then coagulate, and that won’t happen until the temperature rises enough to start and maintain the process." Library of Congress, loc.gov. Sidewalks are usually concrete, which generally does not go above 145°F, but "people actually have been able to cook an egg on a car hood's surface" since metal is a better conductor than concrete.
Here are a few places nearby to see fireworks.
Fireworks on July 4th
New Rochelle. The July 4th Spark the Sound Fireworks Extravaganza will be a fireworks display at the New Rochelle waterfront on Five Islands Park. The fireworks will start at 9:30 pm, rain or shine. According to newrochelleny.com, the best viewing locations are Hudson Park, Five Islands Park, and waterfront restaurants.
New York City. The Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks is the largest fireworks display in the country, with over 75,000 shells and effects. The fireworks will be set off from seven barges in the East River between East 23rd and East 40th Streets starting at approximately 9:25 pm and lasting about 25 minutes. Kelly Clarkson will sing “God Bless America,” accompanied by the West Point Band and Glee Club, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the year Russian Jewish immigrant and newly minted American citizen Irving Berlin composed the song. Click here for more information.
Fireworks after July 4th
Tuckahoe: Tuckahoe will have Summertime Fireworks on Saturday, July 14 (rain date July 15), at Parkway Oval Field, Bronx Street. The event starts at 5:00 pm with food vendors, entertainment begins at 7:00 pm, and the fireworks, put on by Grucci Fireworks, will start at 9:30 pm. Click here and here for more information.
Photo by A. Warner