Fireworks and liberty

Remember When

July 07, 1996|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Fourth of July observances haven't changed much since the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia in 1776, and July 4, 1930, was no exception.

The Sun reported that "cannonading and pyrotechnical displays throughout the city last night marked 154 years of American Independence."

With temperatures in the high 70s, Marylanders looked forward to the day's traditional parades, picnics and fireworks.

In Northwest Baltimore, while crowds of parade-goers wearing Panamas and straw boaters lined the curb, students from Public School No. 87 (Windsor Hills), depicted the Birth of Liberty from the flatbed of a truck while 11 youngsters dressed as firecrackers walked behind.

That evening, 80,000 people in Patterson Park heard Gov. Albert C. Ritchie give a brief address and watched a brilliant display of fireworks -- including a finale that featured a pyrotechnic caricature of Maryland's chief executive.

Then as now, there were numerous injuries throughout the city resulting from fireworks.

Jack Wengert, of Brooklyn Park, "who wished to spend a quiet and safe and sane day," went to Riverside Park and sat on a bench.

He was abruptly aroused from his summer slumber by a lighted firecracker that was placed in his hand by a fast-moving miscreant. Wengert was later treated and released from South Baltimore General Hospital.

At the Eastwood Improvement Association's annual baseball game, the marrieds beat the bachelors for the first time since 1924.

For many Baltimoreans, the evening ended with a Municipal Band concert and community sing at the base of the Washington Monument, which has "become one of the Fourth of July traditions of Mount Vernon Place," The Sun reported.

Pub Date: 7/07/96

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