18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Friday, July 4, 1913: Wasn’t much celebrating done at this house today. I saw a balloon go up or rather I saw it after it had gone up. Saw a few fireworks this evening, but that was at a distance.
STATE FIRE CHIEF ISSUES WARNINGS
Says Care Should Be Taken to Safeguard Life and Property on the Fourth
The department of the state fire marshal at Harrisburg has issued the following Fourth of July proclamation:
The Fourth of July, which is and should be a day of patriotic rejoicing has become a day of apprehension and terror to all persons who have any concern for the safety of life and property. It is a day when fire departments in all cities and towns are generally kept on the run. The people have not yet learned the significance of the day in its highest and best sense. They have not yet learned the noise is not patriotism. Other countries show their patriotism in a more quiet manner with considerably less loss of life and property and this country in the earlier days celebrated the Fourth of July by the unfurling of the stars and stripes, a salute of guns, ringing of church bells and patriotic songs and speeches. . .
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Sounds like Grandma had a pleasant and safe 4th.
A hundred years ago many leaders thought that electric light displays could be a modern replacement for fireworks. You might enjoy reading this post I did last year:
23 thoughts on “Fireworks Dangerous According to State Fire Chief”
And yet still we have fireworks and fireworks warnings. Electric light displays haven’t taken over and neither have laser light displays.
It’s interesting how some traditions don’t change much even as the technology changes.
Dear Sheryl, have a Happy Fourth of July!
And, I hope that you also had a wonderful 4th!
Hmmm… Grandma seemed a little disappointed that there wasn’t much celebrating done there. Glad she saw some fireworks from a distance though.
And, a happy 4th to you!
I love fireworks, but at the same time they scare me. I’m in a family that loves to celebrate with fireworks. Fireworks that go in the air just became legal here last year for purchase by whomever so, ugh, everyone is lighting off fireworks all summer. And we have a neighbor (not too close, we’re in a slightly rural area) who has decided to shoot off several firecrackers at a time EVERY AFTERNOON this summer.
I guess I just wish people would celebrate more safely and respectful of others so that we could all enjoy (instead of complaining like I just did 🙂 ).
Happy 4th of July!
Fireworks are a lot of fun–though some sort of balance is needed. Your comment reminded me a dog we used to have who hid in the basement for most of the evening each year on July 4 because the fireworks noise frightened him.
Fireworks seen from a distance in those days was probably a very good idea. I wonder if they are really any safer now. Interesting she mentioned balloons going up. I wonder if she meant peopled hot air varieties or just little party balloons. We have the people riding kind here for $200 an hour. Imagine?
I think that it probably was a hot air balloon. The previous year, on July 25, 1912, Grandma wrote, “For several evenings I’ve seen a balloon go up, but tonight I saw only the gas.”
Our Fireworks celebration, here in South Australia, was also in our summer on the 5th November… “Guy Fawkes Day” in remembrance of when Guy Fawkes, and his cronies, attempted to blow up the British Parliament.
It was heaps of fun… I loved it!!! However, this all ended about 1973 because of the fire danger, injury to children… etc… 😦 … SPOILSPORTS!!! 😉 …
How sad! Maybe it will come back some day. Fireworks in the US were much more regulated when I was young than what they are now.
Wow – if they could see the celebrations now a days eh?! Happy Independence Day to you and all my American friends!
We had a 7 a.m. flag raising this morning, with patriotic songs and speeches and prayer. No guns, but several veterans in uniform. Now it’s off to the parade. I like to think our small-town celebration comes close to the way the Fourth was celebrated a hundred years ago.
I also went to a fun parade today–high school bands, floats, veterans groups, unicyclists, etc.
I remember firework night from my childhood (in Australia held to celebrate the Queen’s birthday) with fondness as there was always a bonfire and much merriment. However, the government banned fireworks in my teens and it has not been the same since.
It sounds like it once was a lot of fun, and it’s sad they don’t allow fireworks any more. I’m amazed that they don’t have fireworks in Australia.
Wonder how they’d think about fireworks today…people go totally nutso nowadays.
I’ve had similar thoughts. Lots of people in my neighborhood have fireworks on the 4th.
Another great one, Sheryl!!
It’s wonderful to hear that you liked it. I’m glad you asked about what the 4th of July was like a hundred years ago. I’ve enjoyed revisiting these old posts.