The Fourth of July commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 by the Second Continental Congress of the 13 colonies, meeting in Philadelphia. The tradition of celebrating July 4 with fireworks, parades and speeches spread from Philadelphia to other cities and towns across the new nation. Congress established Independence Day as a holiday in 1870.
FIRE IN THE SKY
The Macy's Fourth of July fireworks show in New York City is the nation's largest. Macy's says more than 1,600 shells will be launched per minute during the 25-minute display over the East River. Other major fireworks shows include those in Chicago on Lake Michigan and in San Francisco over the San Francisco Bay.
Read more on WTOP.com.
Local burn doctor prepares for Fourth of July rush
By Paula Wolfson
WASHINGTON -- Most D.C.-area residents will get a day off on the Fourth of July. But it can be one of the busiest days of the year for doctors and nurses at local burn units and ERs.
Dr. James Jeng says he has seen it all. The associate director of the burn center at MedStar Washington Hospital Center admits that the hospital "get[s] a lot of stuff during the Fourth of July."
Even professionals who set off fireworks for a living can sustain major injuries, including the loss of limbs and large surface burns.
Jeng said that should be a lesson to all those novices who see a fireworks stand along the road and say, "Why not?"
"You can really get hurt with some of these things that are meant for home use," he warns.
Jeng says that even includes sparklers because "they are probably burning magnesium -- very, very hot."
He says those most likely to get hurt are "teenagers and young adults that haven't grown up yet." And while he says he understands the allure of loud noises and sparkly things on the holiday, this "is potentially dangerous stuff."
Jeng says anything worse than a kitchen burn probably should warrant a trip to the ER.
He says look for any breakage of the skin, and act quickly if the eyes are involved or there is pain that will not ease or go away. He says pain is always a good indicator of trouble, adding, "it's your body's built in warning system saying, 'hey, I need help.'"
Boardwalk (Caroline Street Stage): Frankie & the Pack will perform at 8 p.m. and fireworks will start at 9:30 p.m.
A Capitol 4th– Celebration on the National Mall:
No Parking Restrictions 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Streets Closed from approximately 7 a.m. until approximately 11 p.m.
Streets Closed from approximately 11:15 a.m. until approximately 11 p.m.
14th Street from Independence Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
3rd Street from Maryland Avenue SW to Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Streets Closed from approximately 11:15 a.m. until approximately 3 p.m. (for the Parade)
9th Street Tunnel from Pennsylvania Avenue to the SE/SW Freeway
12th Street Tunnel from the SE/SW Freeway to Pennsylvania Avenue
Motorists should be advised that the 14th Street Bridge and the Roosevelt Bridge will remain open throughout the day.
Motorists are reminded that there is no parking or stopping on the bridges. Any vehicles that stop on the bridge will be immediately ticketed and towed.
Recommended Alternative Routes
July 4th Parade
On Friday, July 4, 2014, the July 4th Parade will take place from 11:45 am until 2:00 pm.
The streets along the following route will be closed from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm.
46th Annual Palisades July 4th Parade:
The parade begins at Whitehaven Parkway and MacArthur Boulevard NW., and proceeds Northwest on MacArthur, left on Edmunds Place, left on Sherrier Place, and a right into the Palisades Recreation Center. Road closures begin at 12:00 pm and conclude at approximately 1:30 pm.
MacArthur Boulevard will be closed from Reservoir Road to Arizona Ave. for this event. There will be rolling street closures during this event.
Capitol Hill July 4thParade:
The annual parade on Capitol Hill will form at 8th & I Streets, SE at 8:00 am. The parade will begin at 10:00 am and end at 12:00 pm. The parade will precede north on 8th Street, and west on D Street, SE. to the park at 7th and D Street, SE where it will disband. There will be rolling street closures during this event.
Due to the extremely heavy pedestrian crowds associated with these events, motorists are encouraged to exercise extreme caution when traveling in these areas. In addition, those wishing to attend these events are encouraged to use public transportation.
There’s a thrill with fireworks, but there are also dangers.
About 240 people, on average, go the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4 holiday.
This year, July 4th falls on Friday, giving everyone an extra day to absorb all the festive parades, fireworks, baseball games and carnivals.
The long weekend also brings three days worth of excuses to fire up the grill, open a cold one and celebrate with friends and family.
Read their tips on WTOP.com.
The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) will close its full-service and express
offices on Friday, July 4 and Saturday July 5, 2014 in observance of the Independence Day Holiday. All Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP) stations will also be closed.
Get more information the the Motor Vehicle Administration website.
Metro says weekend work will only affect the red line over the Independence Day holiday weekend.
Metro says it plans no work Friday on the July 4 holiday.
Read more about the Metro schedule on WTOP.com.
Soothing strategies can be used in incremental and increasing combinations depending on how disturbed pets become says veterinarian Dr. Katy Nelson.
For dogs and cats with average anxiety:
Highways will be packed once again this July Fourth weekend, with 41 million Americans expected to travel at least 50 miles or more.
That's up about 2 percent from the 40.3 million who traveled during last year's Independence Day weekend, according to auto club AAA.
The calendar is helping to push up the number of vacationers. The holiday falls on a Friday this year, making it an easy three-day weekend for many travelers.
Get more information about holiday travel on WTOP.com.
Temporary highway lane closures will be suspended across Virginia to help Independence Day travelers reach their holiday destinations.
The Virginia Department of Transportation says lane closures in temporary work zones will be lifted from noon Thursday until noon Monday.
Read more about VDOT's plan on WTOP.com.
The dangers of fireworks
The dangers of fireworks
The dangers of fireworks
Nationwide, firework injuries are on the rise, and this time of year is typically when mishaps will happen, according to federal regulators.
"Most of the injuries that occur with respect to fireworks occur during the months that surround the Fourth of July," explains Bob Adler, acting chairman with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
"Unfortunately it seems to be on the increase; we're very concerned," Adler says.
According to new figures released Thursday, 11,400 people were injured by fireworks last year.
That is an uptick from 2012 when 8,700 people were hurt.
Read more on WTOP.com.