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How did the Fourth of July become the fireworks holiday?

It all started with a letter from John Adams to his wife as the U.S. neared its independence.
Fourth of July Missouri
Posted at 2:24 PM, Jul 01, 2022

When it comes to celebrating American independence, we like to bring it in with a bang. 

But why do we celebrate with fireworks on the Fourth of July?

In 1776, as the U.S. neared its independence,  John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail: “The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America... 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.”

Related Story: Here's what will be open and closed on July Fourth

Adams was off by a couple of days when he said the U.S. would actually declare independence, but he was pretty spot-on otherwise.  

The first formal celebration took place a year later in Philadelphia, and they have continued across the country ever since.

Some cities and states have tried to extinguish the pyrotechnic tradition, citing potential dangers. 

However, the fireworks industry is still a bustling business. It's estimated Americans spend more than $1 billion on fireworks for the Fourth of July.