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History Behind the Fireworks Display of 4th of July

Shashank Nakate May 12, 2020
Fireworks have always been an important part of celebrations and festivities across the world. Americans celebrate the 4th of July with great passion and fervor. Fireworks are an integral part of these celebrations too. The history behind the fireworks display of the 4th of July is pretty interesting.
The fireworks that are used on the occasion of 4th of July, are largely imported from China. In 2019, Americans imported fireworks worth $325 million from China.
The Chinese started using fireworks during celebrations hundreds of years ago, in fact, as early as the 9th century. By the time the United States became an independent country, fireworks were already being widely used in celebrations in many places around the world. The United States became independent in the year 1776.
However, fireworks were first used for Independence Day celebrations in the US only on the 4th of July, 1777. Today, there are many different types of fireworks being made for these kinds of celebrations. In the United States of America, the pyrotechnics industry accounts for an annual business of $1.3 billion.
The sight of 4th of July fireworks rouses the feeling of patriotism in all Americans, and this is the reason why setting off these fireworks is one of the best ways for everyone to celebrate Independence Day.

4th of July Fireworks

San Francisco


Washington D.C.

New York

One of the references of the idea of using fireworks during 4th of July celebrations can be found in John Adams' letter to his wife, Abigail. He had mentioned in the letter that America's Independence Day ought to be celebrated with pomp. He had envisioned the celebrations of the 4th of July to include shows, sports, bonfires, bells, and fireworks.
On 4th July, 1777, the Evening Post reported about the Independence Day celebrations held in Philadelphia. The city was illuminated. In those days, the word illuminant was used instead of fireworks. That day, 13 rockets were used in the celebrations.
These 13 rockets symbolized the independence of 13 colonies of the United States of America. In the same year, i.e., 1777, fireworks were also included in the celebrations held at Boston. The fireworks at Boston were exhibited by Colonel Thomas Crafts.
By 1783, a great variety was observed in the fireworks used for Independence Day celebrations. The different kinds of pyrotechnics introduced in subsequent years included serpents, rockets, wheels, cherry trees, table rockets, sunflowers, and fountains.

Society for the Suppression of Unnecessary Noise

The 1890s witnessed uncontrolled and rampant use of fireworks, which posed danger to the safety of people. The use of fireworks by unskilled people was the main reason why fireworks posed danger to the life of citizens. The Society for the Suppression of Unnecessary Noise was formed, with the objective of regulating the use of fireworks.
The United States has a long history of different kinds of fireworks celebration events held on the occasion of 4th of July. The notable ones are listed here.

International Freedom Festival

This festival is celebrated jointly in USA and Canada. In the United States, this festival is being held since the year 1959 on the 4th of July, in Detroit and Michigan.
One of the world's largest fireworks display is on offer during the festival. During the International Freedom Festival, over a million people gather on the fronts of Detroit (USA) and Windsor (Canada) to witness the spectacular display of fireworks.

Macy's Fireworks Display

The fireworks display celebrations by Macy's are held on the occasion of Independence day since the year 1976, in New York City over the East River.

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular

This is basically a fireworks and music show hosted by the Boston Pops Orchestra since 1973. This orchestra specializes in popular music and light classical music.
For the past few years, the show is aired on TV on CBS. Before that, the A&E Network had broadcast the show. Luke Bryan, Ciara, Khalid, Derek Hough, etc performed during the celebrations of 2019.
Fireworks are the highlight of celebrations held on the occasion of 4th of July. Americans like to celebrate Independence Day with pomp and fanfare, and enjoy every such occasion to the fullest. This very spirit makes the event related to the 4th of July extremely special.