Early July 4 Parties In Philly, Mount Vernon
RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
If you're planning to take in a fireworks show tonight, allow us to put it in perspective with a little history.
The first official fireworks to mark the Fourth of July were lit in Philadelphia, on the city commons in 1777. The following year, General George Washington honored this day by giving his troops a double allowance of rum. Apparently, by 1822, the revelry had gotten out of hand. George Washington's nephew and heir announced he would no longer allow, quote, "steamboat parties, eating, drinking or dancing on the lawn at Mount Vernon for the Fourth."
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