history

Fireworks Throughout Chicago History

See how Chicago celebrated July 4th throughout history


Fireworks have been a part of celebrating Independence Day in America pretty much since the beginning of our country. The first documented use of the colorful bursts in the sky happened on July 4, 1777 — the year after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. According to historical documents, John Adams wrote a letter to Abigail Adams the day before the document’s signing that the occasion should be marked “with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games,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.”

The first fireworks displays took place in Philadelphia and Boston, and Chicago soon followed suit. Thanks to our friends at Calumet412.com, we can see how our city has participated in 4th of July fireworks displays throughout the years. Check out the slideshow above.

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