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On July 8, 1776, the first public readings of the Declaration were held in Philadelphia’s Independence Square to the ringing of bells and band music. One year later, on July 4th, 1777, Philadelphia marked Independence Day by adjourning Congress and celebrating with bonfires, bells and fireworks. Celebrations of the Fourth of July became more common as the years went on and in 1870, almost a hundred years after the Declaration was written, Congress first declared July 4 to be a national holiday as part of a bill to officially recognize several holidays, including Christmas. In 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.

Fourth of July fact: Three of the Founding Father Presidents died on July 4th. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died in 1826, the 50th anniversary of the country’s birth. Adams’ last words were “Thomas Jefferson still survives.” James Monroe, the fifth president, died five years later in 1831.

As we celebrate the July 4th holiday, the Silver City Fire Department would like to remind residents that extreme drought and local fire conditions have determined that the following restrictions regarding fireworks are in effect: As pursuant to the Town of Silver City Ordinance No. 1079 Section 10-2(9), the sale and use of the following types of fireworks shall be prohibited: missle type rockets; helicopters; aerial spinners; stick type rockets; and ground audibles. Ignition of any type of firework is limited to areas that are paved or barren or that have a readily accessible source of water for use by the homeowner or the general public. Anyone caught in violation of the order is subject to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 and or imprisonment of up to 30 days.