Fireworks display, Albany, New York, 4 July 2010, Om 9:40 PM. T0 the right of the fireworks is the Corning Tower, the tallest building in upstate New York; "Price Chopper" is the area supermarket chain that sponsors the display and thus earns the the right to have its name spelled out in the tower's lights. The Cultural Education Center, which houses the New York State Archives, the New York State Library, and the New York State Museum, is obscured by the tree to the left of the Corning Tower.
On 2 July 1776, the Second Continental Congress approved a resolution declaring that the member colonies (of which New York was one) would henceforth be independent of Great Britain. The representatives then focused upon drafting a document that explained their reasons for doing so. The authors of this document, the Declaration of Independence, later stated that they signed the final version on 4 July 1776. Some members of the Second Continental Congress initially believed that 2 July would become a day of celebration and many historians now believe that the declaration wasn't signed until early August 1776, but from 1777 onward 4 July has been the day on which Americans have commemorated their nation's founding.
Fireworks have been part of Independence Day celebrations from 1777 to the present day. I'm fortunate in that I don't have to travel far to see the City 0f Albany, New York's Independence Day fireworks display (the sidewalk in front of my house is a pretty good viewing spot) and friends tend to convene at my home in order to engage in another Independence Day tradition: hanging out, eating cold food (some people barbeque, but I don't), and drinking cold beverages.
I've got a couple of posts in the hopper -- I've been holding them back because I've been waiting for someone else to post content to the Web -- so things will be getting back to normal around here during the next few days. In the meantime, if you're in the Northern Hemisphere, I hope that you're having an enjoyable summer -- and if you're in the Southern Hemisphere, I hope winter is passing quickly.