Playing With Fire

WHAT LASTS a couple of seconds, ravishes the eye, and calms the soul? Americans have known since 1608.

A tugboat pushes us slowly past the waterfront of Fall River, Massachusetts. Lined up on the steel decks of two barges are twelve hundred mortars packed with explosive charges. Overhead, evening sunlight drapes white mountains of summer clouds. Read more »

The Glorious Unsafe Fourth

It was a day when all the rules were off, and danger was part of the fun.

When laws against the use of fireworks became prevalent, there came an end to an American institution that once was firmly built into every boy’s life, making patriotism seem a joyous and understandable thing. Youngsters today do not even know the phrase, yet it was not so many years ago that a “Glorious Fourth” was as much a part of the calendar as a Happy New Year or a Merry Christmas.Read more »