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Fireworks Celebrations Have A Long History

By Steve Rensberry, Editor

Another 4th of July Celebration is here again, with several area communities celebrating with traditional fireworks displays and other events meant to celebrate our nation’s independence. Troy’s display will start on Thursday at dusk, which they estimate will be around 8:30 p.m.

I love the holiday, even as diverse and commercialized as it has become —  and the shows and celebrations that go on in the St. Louis region are, I think, by-and-large outstanding — when everything goes right, that is, which it mostly does.

Alton, Granite City, and Troy all put on great shows. Some communities have already gotten an early start, such as the American Legion in Edwardsville which celebrated the holiday with fireworks this past weekend. It’s fun to run into people whose homes are sometimes situated where they can get a glimpse of two displays at once. A word of safety, of course, always come from fire and safety professionals this time of year, with many urging people to leave fireworks and fireworks display to professionals completely, sparklers and a few very small firework gadgets not withstanding.

My own grandfather, in fact, lived for most of his life with sight in only one eye and fewer than five fingers on one hand — after he was involved in an accident while playing with dynamite. He was just a young, curious boy. Firecrackers don’t equal sticks of dynamite, but I’m sure some of the bigger ones could cause some serious harm if used incorrectly.

Fireworks, of course, are not unique to America, but have been used worldwide to celebrate stuff for a very long time. According to historians, they were first invented in 7th century China.

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