Independence Day

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At Least 102 Shot in Chicago Over Holiday Weekend

Cops there are 'frustrated'

(Newser) - It was a long and bloody weekend in Chicago, where police say at least 102 people were shot between Friday afternoon and early Wednesday, 15 of them fatally. Police say they're "perplexed" and "frustrated" by the scale of the gun violence, which comes after a relatively peaceful... More »

Phoenix Bans Old West-Style Shooting Game at July 4 Fest

City 'not comfortable' showing guns 'in a fun or glorified way'

(Newser) - An Arizona couple's Old West-style shooting game will not be among the activities at a July Fourth celebration in Phoenix on Monday night, the AP reports. Pete and Valerie Fowler say Prescott Pete's Highfalutin Shooting Gallery was deemed inappropriate by organizers of Fabulous Phoenix 4th. According to a... More »

Pals Tried to Stop Man From Lighting Firework on Head

But Devon Staples' brother says it was just a 'freak accident'

(Newser) - A 22-year-old who once entertained kids at Disney World died in what his brother calls a "freak accident" on July 4. Devon Staples of Calais, Maine, had been drinking and celebrating the Fourth in a friend's backyard when he set a firework off of his own head, a... More »

Woman Dies, Man Loses Hands in July 4 Accidents

Also, a Detroit man dies after firework flies into chest

(Newser) - Another Fourth of July has passed and once again, carelessness or bad luck with fireworks meant some people didn't make it through the weekend. Some cases from around the country:
  • Detroit man Mike Aburouman, 44, was killed almost instantly when a firework he picked up to light flew directly
... More »

July 4th Fireworks Are Made by ... China?

China still produces nearly all of US consumer fireworks

(Newser) - Ah, Independence Day fireworks: What could be more ... Chinese? Yep, despite strong "Buy American" sentiments in other fields (the US military must fly made-in-America flags, for example), China still manufactures at least 98% of consumer fireworks and 75% of "display" fireworks (for big shows) sold in America, Politico... More »

Arthur Ruins July 4 Plans, but Not Much Else

No major damage reported in North Carolina

(Newser) - Maybe they should have called it Hurricane Benedict Arnold: Independence Day plans in North Carolina and elsewhere on the East Coast are in disarray thanks to Hurricane Arthur—though as CNN reports, the state "seems to have dodged a bullet." Arthur strengthened to a Category 2 hurricane yesterday,... More »

What Fireworks Really Are: the Sound of War

Maybe it's time we lose them from our July 4 celebrations, writes Sarah Miller

(Newser) - When Sarah Miller, then roughly 20, heard a "nonspecific rat-a-tat-tat" while catching a movie at a theater in Bogota, Colombia, she, along with everyone else, panicked. It turned out to be fireworks intended to commemorate the mall's anniversary, but hearing them "divorced from the context of potato... More »

Fireworks Explode Into Crowd, Injuring 28

20 hospitalized after Independence Day event near LA

(Newser) - A crowd gathered for Fourth of July fireworks saw celebration turn to disaster as an explosion hurt 28 people. Twenty of those were hospitalized, four with "moderate to severe injuries," NBC Los Angeles reports. Their wounds, however, aren't life-threatening, the AP notes. The incident occurred in Simi... More »

Dad Fatally Runs Over Son Who Fell From Parade Float

Boy, 8, either fell or jumped from float: police

(Newser) - Tragedy at an Oklahoma Fourth of July parade, where an 8-year-old boy either fell or jumped from a parade float and was fatally run over. Making the story much worse: The boy's father was driving the flat-bed trailer, which was being used as a float for a karate group,... More »

At White House, Marine Band Plays ... Romney Song

Fourth of July celebration gets just a bit awkward

(Newser) - The White House Independence Day fete took a bit of an awkward turn yesterday: As President Obama was visiting with the service members gathered on the South Lawn, a subset of the Marine Corps band started playing Rod Atkins' "It's America"—which just so happens to be... More »

San Diego Fireworks Suffer 'Premature Ignition'

Entire 4th of July show goes up in seconds

(Newser) - Millions of Americans had a firework-free Fourth of July because of wildfire fears, but San Diego got a big show—that lasted less than 30 seconds. The official display in San Diego Bay was called off after at least three of four barges suffered what authorities called "premature ignition,... More »

Cost of Freedom: Everyone's Selfish

From hippies to capitalists, US has embraced individual liberty: Kurt Anderson

(Newser) - The 1960s brought a raft of cultural freedoms, from women's rights to new attitudes about drugs. But anyone dreaming of economic equality has been sorely disappointed; old-school free market ideas have only gotten stronger. Kurt Anderson has a theory to explain the divide: On both the cultural and economic... More »

4 Weird Fourth Facts

3 presidents died and one was born on the holiday

(Newser) - As you're watching fireworks tonight, consider this: If John Adams had had his way, you would have had a three-day weekend. That's because the second president believed Independence Day should have been celebrated on July 2, when the Founding Fathers voted for independence, rather than the day John... More »

All Over US, Fireworks Axed Due to Heat

They're banned in scores of communities, particularly in the West

(Newser) - The red glare of rockets will be missing from scores of Independence Day celebrations tonight, Reuters finds. Dry conditions and record-breaking heat have turned much of America into a tinderbox and caused many communities—particularly those in the West—to cancel their annual fireworks displays. "All it would take... More »

Make This Year's Cookout a Green One

Three easy tips for a tasty—and eco-friendly—Fourth

(Newser) - With 10% to 30% of greenhouse gas emissions coming from food, why not make this year’s Fourth of July cookout a green opportunity? In the New York Times , Brian Palmer offers some tips:
  • Don’t boil your potatoes—cube and pan-fry them. That method takes less than a third
... More »

One Dead After Runaway Horses Trample Paradegoers

Bellevue, Iowa, 4th of July celebration ends in bloodshed

(Newser) - Two horses pulling a buggy in the Fourth of July parade through the streets of Bellevue, Iowa, got loose and rampaged through the crowd yesterday morning, injuring 23 people and killing the 60-year-old wife of the carriage driver. Thirteen of the victims are children, reports the Telegraph Herald of Dubuque.... More »

Oil Cleanup Spoils Gulf's July 4th Parties

Tourism crisis, danger of fire dampen celebrations

(Newser) - Fourth of July celebrations will be scaled down in many Gulf Coast towns, where the BP oil spill and cleanup effort are taking a big bite out of holiday fun. Cash-strapped governments dealing with the tourism bust have canceled fireworks displays, and some have moved their pyrotechnics inland because of... More »

Founding Fathers 'Kick Brit Ass' In Rap

Create your own version

(Newser) - For your Independence Day time-wasting pleasure—and "because it's time to kick some Brit ass"—JibJab has updated its Founding Fathers riff with a 2010 take. Check it out above, or make your own version here. More »

Scientology Launches 'Warrior' Film to Spur Staff

'Play for blood,' urges motivational video

(Newser) - A heavy-duty call-to-battle video featuring clips from Braveheart, Independence Day and various movies of star cult member Tom Cruise has been created by Scientology leaders to spur Vegas staffers into fighting infidels. The video urges members to "play for blood" and features battle scenes bristling with weaponry, from bloody... More »

Founding Fathers That Time Forgot

And 4 others history has forgotten

(Newser) - Fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence, but we only remember a few of the Founding Fathers. Mental Floss shines a light on a few of the lesser-knowns:
  • George Read: the only statesman to oppose the Declaration of Independence. Admitted to the Philadelphia Bar at age 19, Read thought Americans
... More »

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