In July of 1776, future U.S. President John Adams wrote his wife after the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution declaring independence from Britain.
“It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
This weekend marks America’s 233rd birthday. A time to honor the wishes of our second President with parades, flame-kissed hotdogs, and the glorious spectacle of shooting incendiary devices into the sky. However, according to Florida legislation, anything that launches or explodes is considered illegal. The law limits us to sparklers, snap pops, smoke bombs and public firework displays. While the latter are awesome spectacles that promote civic safety, they take the risky thrill out of shooting fireworks from your own backyard…or hand.
The Weekly encourages our readers to enjoy fireworks, but we condone traveling over state lines to ignite cherry bombs, M-80s, whirly birds, bottle rockets, or those really cool mortars that can be purchased from the back of non-descript vans along the highway.
This time-honored tradition of lighting your own Class 1.1G “Silver Salute” with a Bic lighter and then running for your life is all but over for the people of Florida. Sadly, one of the only ways we can rekindle the spirit our benevolent, dope-growing, slave-holding forefathers is to start a revolution over excessive taxation.
This year, residents and visitors are reminded to be careful with their celebrations on 4th of July, especially if they live on Big Pine, Upper Sugarloaf and Upper Cudjoe Keys. Houses in these areas are located in the most flammable areas in the Keys, as noted by the Lower Keys Wildland Fire Hazard Reduction group.
“Fireworks can result in severe burns, scars and disfigurement that can last a lifetime,” says Monroe County Fire Prevention Captain Steven Zavalney. “Even sparklers, thought to be safe by many people, can reach temperatures above 1000 degrees F and can burn users and bystanders.”
Interesting fact: Former Presidents and signers of the Declaration of Independence John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826 – on the 50th Anniversary of American’s independence.
Another fun fact from Travis Cready, Weekly Newspapers Technical Wizard & Chief Nerd: At five minutes and six seconds after 4 am on the 8th of July this year, the time and date will be 04:05:06 07/08/09…cool.