President Donald Trump has used his Independence Day speech to tout America’s “progress” against Covid-19, despite a nationwide spike in cases.
Amid criticism of his handling of the pandemic, the president said China – where the new coronavirus originated – must be “held fully accountable”.
President Trump also berated protesters who toppled monuments of historical figures in recent anti-racism protests.
“Their goal is demolition,” he said.
In a combative tone that echoed his Friday night speech at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, President Trump pledged to defeat the “radical left, the Marxists, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters”.
He spoke from the White House lawn, flanked by First Lady Melania Trump, to a crowd that included soldiers and frontline medical staff.
Praising “our nation’s scientific brilliance,” President Trump said the US “will likely have a therapeutic and/or vaccine solution long before the end of the year”.
The head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned in June that scientists may never be able to create an effective vaccine against the coronavirus, observing: “The estimate is we may have a vaccine within one year. If accelerated, it could be even less than that, but by a couple of months. That’s what scientists are saying.”
The US has the world’s highest number of Covid-19 deaths and infections, and confirmed more than 43,000 new cases in 24 hours on July 4, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. Florida, where the outbreak is especially acute, saw 11,458 new cases.
President Trump made no reference to the nearly 130,000 US deaths linked to the pandemic. He said the US had tested almost 40 million people, adding that 99% of coronavirus cases were “totally harmless” – a claim for which he gave no evidence.
His comments were followed by a military flyover involving various aircraft, including B-52 bombers and F-35 fighter jets.
A massive firework display was later held in Washington DC, watched by spectators who gathered on the National Mall.
Ahead of President Trump’s speech, Black Lives Matter protesters gathered outside the White House – the scene of many recent anti-racism demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd’s killing in police custody.
Addressing America’s coronavirus battle, President Trump said his administration had “made a lot of progress” and “our strategy is moving along well”, despite the nationwide surge in infections.
Donald Trump, who faces re-election this year and appears keen to fire up his conservative base with appeals to nationalism, accused China of trying to conceal the virus outbreak – a charge Beijing denies.
He alleged: “China’s secrecy, deceptions and cover-up allowed [the virus] to spread all over the world.”
Elaborating on his plan to create a “National Garden of American Heroes” featuring statues of renowned Americans, President Trump said the country’s rich heritage belongs to citizens of all races.
“The patriots who built our country were not villains,” he said.
“They were heroes.”
Many 4th of July events were canceled on public health grounds, with beaches in Florida and California closed, city parades canceled and firework displays curtailed.
Joe Biden tweeted that “this Fourth of July, one of the most patriotic things you can do is wear a mask”.
Firework displays are a traditional highlight of 4th of July, but an estimated 80% of cities and towns have canceled their shows.
New York City usually holds an hour-long extravaganza, but this year it was replaced by five-minute displays through the week, organized by Macy’s department store, with a final televised one on July 4 – all at undisclosed locations.
Major League Baseball canceled its 2020 All-Star Game for the first time since World War Two.
July 4th is a special date for many across America, because it is a time to celebrate the United States’ independence from Great Britain in 1776. Usually, families across the nation celebrate with BBQ’s, celebrations and other formal events. However, July 4th is also unfortunately a day that can result in severe accidents and tragedy due to irresponsible actions.
The most common danger to the health of people who celebrate Independence Day are fireworks. Usually, fireworks are a public display administered by licensed professionals. However, too many overzealous people seek to make displays of their own domestically. Thousands of people per year require medical attention due to firework-related injuries and are the result of not knowing the full safety precautions one must take.
First, you must check to see if fireworks are legal in your location and if a permit is required to administer them. If so, fireworks must never be put into a container and must not be held by children. In addition, fireworks should never be lit indoors or flammable objects. The most common way people can get injured is by holding the fireworks with your hands.
Badly Cooked Food
With outdoor BBQ’s also come the risk of having food being undercooked. The primary concerns with food safety, especially when cooking outdoors, is undercooking meat and spreading germs and bacteria to surrounding food and materials.
If meat does not get cooked thoroughly, food poisoning and salmonella could potentially follow. While certain meat such as lamb or beef can be eaten rare if the outside is cooked well. Other meat choices such as sausage and chicken is only safe to eat if there is no pink in the middle and is hot in the center. A thermometer can help verify this information.
With any festive occasion may also alcohol and the temptation to drink. While you can drink responsibly and have a great time with loved ones, drinking excess alcohol can lead to one becoming drunk. This can predispose to making unwise decisions such as driving.
If you plan to drink and could potentially become drunk, plan for someone you trust to bring you home. If you know of a friend that may do so, make proper transportation arrangements to prevent a potential tragedy.
Other events may be taken place in public locals and areas near a body of water. While there are ample opportunities to take great photos and enjoy a good evening across crisp waters, swimming into lakes can potentially lead to drowning or coming into contact with foreign materials that can cause illness.
If the celebration is being held domestically and a traditional pool is used, refrain from engaging in activity that can cause one to drown or get injured such as dunking others and diving.
July 4th is a great day to celebrate freedom with loved ones, but it is also important to stay safe. Follow these tips to ensure a danger-free day.
Extravagant displays of 4th of July fireworks lit up the skies around the Unites States, including 19 single bursts in Arizona to remember the firefighters killed in a wildfire.
The Statue of Liberty reopened eight months after it was shuttered by Superstorm Sandy, and President Barack Obama urged citizens to live up to the words of the Declaration of Independence.
Four barges carrying 40,000 shells on the Hudson River on Thursday night unleashed a barrage of brilliant reds, whites and blues – some in shapes and smiley faces – as spectators marveled at the classic New York over-the-top fireworks display, snapping videos and pictures on their cellphones.
In Arizona, a fire chief read the names of the 19 firefighters killed last weekend battling a wildfire while 19 single fireworks burst overhead.
“Less than 100 hours ago, the city of Prescott, the state of Arizona and the nation lost 19 of the best, the bravest firefighters ever dispatched into the forest,” fire department division chief Don Devendorf said.
The commemorative starbursts were followed by a raucous 20-minute display choreographed to patriotic pop songs, which drew cheering, grins and shouts of “America!”
In California, at least 14 people were injured by malfunctioning fireworks at a large community park in Simi Valley. Officials say more than a dozen people were taken to area hospitals with minor to moderate injuries. No other details were immediately available.
Earlier Thursday, hundreds lined up to be among the first to board boats destined for Lady Liberty.
Nationwide, Boston hosted its first large gathering since the marathon bombing that killed three and injured hundreds, and Philadelphia, Washington and New Orleans hosted large holiday concerts. A Civil War reenactment commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg drew as many as 40,000 people to Pennsylvania. In Arizona, sober tributes were planned for 19 firefighters who died this week battling a blaze near Yarnell.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, speaking at the reopening of the Statue of Liberty, choked up as she told the crowd she was wearing a purple ribbon in memory of the fallen firefighters.
“Nineteen firefighters lost their lives in the line of duty, and we as a nation stand together,” Sally Jewell said through tears.
Fourth of July has been celebrated with fireworks, parades and parties
The island was decorated with star-spangled bunting, but portions remain blocked off with large construction equipment, and the main ferry dock was boarded up. Repairs to brick walkways and docks were ongoing. But much of the work has been completed since Sandy swamped the 12-acre island in New York Harbor, and visitors were impressed.
The statue itself was unharmed, but the land took a beating. Railings broke, docks and paving stones were torn up and buildings were flooded. The storm destroyed electrical systems, sewage pumps and boilers. Hundreds of National Park Service workers from as far away as California and Alaska spent weeks cleaning mud and debris.
“It is one of the most enduring icons of America, and we pulled it off – it’s open today,” National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis said. “Welcome.”
The statue was open for a single day last year – October 28, the day before Superstorm Sandy struck. It had been closed the previous year for security upgrades. Neighboring Ellis Island remains closed and there has been no reopening date set.
Elsewhere in New York, throngs of revelers packed Brooklyn’s Coney Island to see competitive eating champ Joey Chestnut scarf down 69 hot dogs to break a world record and win the title for a seventh year at the 98th annual Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest. Sonya Thomas defended her title with nearly 37 dogs.
In his weekly radio address from Washington, Obama urged Americans to work to secure liberty and opportunity for their own children and future generations. The first family was to host U.S. servicemen and women at the White House for a cookout.
Atlanta and Alaska planned holiday runs – thousands were racing up a 3,022-foot peak in Seward. In New Orleans, the Essence Festival celebrating black culture and music kicked off along the riverfront.
The celebratory mood turned somber in Oklahoma and Maine with fatal accidents during parades. In Edmond, Oklahoma, a boy died after being run over by a float near the end of the town’s LibertyFest parade. In Bangor, Maine, the driver of a tractor in the parade was killed after the vehicle was struck by an old fire truck.
In Boston, attendance for the city’s celebration appeared to be down early, but increased as the start of the festivities approached. Crowds on the Charles River Esplanade seeming smaller than in recent years, while a robust law enforcement presence greeted revelers gathering for a performance by the Boston Pops and a fireworks display.
Among those at Boston’s festivities was Carlos Arredondo, the cowboy hat-wearing marathon attendee who became part of one of the indelible images of the bombings’ aftermath: helping rush a badly wounded man from the scene in a wheelchair, his legs torn to pieces.
Carlos Arredondo said the July 4 celebration – an event authorities believe the bombing suspects initially planned to target – is an important milestone in the healing process, not just for him but also those who were stopping to tell him their own stories of that day.
“I think there’s no better place to be,” said Carlos Arredondo, wearing his cowboy hat and a “Boston Strong” shirt in the marathon’s blue and yellow colors.
Not everyone was welcoming the masses – Hermosa Beach, California, was ramping up police patrols after years of drunken and raucous behavior from revelers. Hartford, Connecticut, postponed fireworks because the Connecticut River was too high.
Nationwide, anti-surveillance protests cropped up in a number of cities on Independence Day with activists speaking out against recent disclosures that the National Security Agency has been secretly logging people’s phone calls and Internet activity. In Philadelphia, more than 100 people marched downtown to voice their displeasure, chanting, “NSA, go away!”
But in Union Beach, New Jersey, which was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, residents had something to celebrate. The working-class town won a party and fireworks contest from the television station Destination America and USA Weekend magazine.
Washington DC is a spectacular place to celebrate July 4th.
The National Mall, with Washington DC’s monuments and the U. S. Capitol in the background, forms a beautiful and patriotic backdrop to America’s Independence Day celebrations. This is an all-day event in the nation’s capital, beginning with a parade along Constitution Avenue and ending with a spectacular display of fireworks over the Washington Monument.
Washington DC is a spectacular place to celebrate July 4th
The 4th of July celebrations in Washington, DC are among the most attended events of the year and many people arrive early to stake out a seat on the lawn. There are plenty of activities scheduled throughout the day to keep the whole family busy.
Getting to the National Mall
The best way to get to the National Mall is to take the Metro. Stations nearby include Smithsonian, Metro Center, Gallery Place-Chinatown, Judiciary Square, Federal Triangle and L’Enfant Plaza.
The Smithsonian Metro station will be open all day!
It typically takes 1 ½ to 2 hours to clear the Mall after the fireworks.
Public access to the National Mall begins at 10:00 a.m., with all visitors required to enter via a security checkpoint.
The Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular is an annual television broadcast of the Independence Day fireworks show in New York City.
The event has been broadcast annually either on WPIX-TV, syndication or NBC since 1977, with the exception of 1986 when the pyrotechnics were held as part of the weekend-long rededication of the Statue of Liberty. Those fireworks were broadcast on ABC as part of the coverage.
The roots of the annual Macy’s fireworks show can be traced back to the Bicentennial of the United States of America, the 200th anniversary of the adaptation of the Declaration of Independence in 1976 as New York City staged a fireworks show produced by Walt Disney Productions as part of that city’s celebrations on July 4th of that year.
Since 1977, the Macy’s Department Store, whose home base and main store are based in Manhattan have hosted an annual pyrotechnic celebration of America’s birthday with a half-hour, 40,000 shell show from barges on either the East River or the Hudson River. The show is set to a musical soundtrack synchronized to the pyrotechnics. From 1977 until 1999 (except for 1986), Tribune Broadcasting-owned WPIX-TV broadcast the program, with the program syndicated from about 1992 until 1999. As a part of a new contract between NBC and Macy’s for the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade starting in 2000, NBC acquired national telecast rights, broadcasting them live in the Eastern and Central time zones.
A Brief History of Fireworks
Provided by Fireworks in America “The day will be most memorable in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, bonfires and illuminations [fireworks] from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
So wrote John Adams on July 3, 1776 to his wife after the Continental Congress had decided to proclaim the American colonies independent of England. Fireworks were associated with Independence Day celebrations even before the signing of the Declaration.
The discovery of gunpowder and the invention of the first fireworks (bamboo cases or rolled paper tubes filled with explosives) are traditionally credited to the Chinese, although India is also a likely source.
The Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular is an annual television broadcast of the Independence Day fireworks show in New York City
The sound of these first firecrackers, which appeared about 1,000 years ago, was so loud that the Chinese were soon convinced that the noise would scare away evil spirits. Then almost any event – be it birth, death, wedding, coronation or New Year celebration – became a fit occasion for the noisemakers.
Fireworks made their way to Europe sometime in the 13th century, probably carried back from the East by Crusaders. Their popularity grew, and by the 15th century they were widely used for religious festivals and public entertainment. The Italians were the first Europeans to manufacture fireworks and were the second undisputed European masters of fireworks-making through the end of the 17th century. Their wares were used all over Europe to mark great occasions.
The first recorded display in England celebrated the wedding of Henry VII in 1487. William Shakespeare mentions them several times in his plays, and Elizabeth I enjoyed them so much she appointed a “Fire Master of England”.
James II was so delighted with his coronation display that he knighted his fire-master and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V also valued fireworks – his army contained “fire workers” whose sole function was to stage victory displays.
Fireworks displays became more and more extravagant as the years passed, although events were not always the spectacles they were designed to be. To celebrate the end of the War of the Austrian Succession in 1742, George II ordered an elaborate display and brought in the Italian experts. The preparations took six months, and the result was a huge machine with almost 11,000 rockets and pinwheels surrounding the structure. Handel’s Music for the RoyalFireworks, which included the firing of one hundred brass cannons, was commissioned especially for the occasion. Just as the event was getting underway, an argument broke out between the English and Italian fireworkers, and the North Pavilion of the machine exploded as a result. The show went on, but proved to be a great disappointment. Some called it “a grand whim for posterity to laugh at.”
The earliest settlers brought their love of fireworks to this country. Firings of black powder were used to celebrate holidays and to impress the natives. This fascination with the noise and color of fireworks did not weaken with the passage of time. Pranksters in the colony of Rhode Island caused enough problems that in 1731 a ban was established on the mischievous use of fireworks.
By the time of the American Revolution, fireworks had long played a part in celebrating important events. It was natural, then, that not only John Adams but also many of his countrymen should think of fireworks when independence was declared. The very first celebration of Independence Day was in 1777, six years before Americans knew whether the new nation would even survive the war, and fireworks were a part of the revels. In 1789, George Washington’s inauguration was accompanied by a beautiful display.
Throughout the following years, as the benefits of this new and booming nation came within the grasp of large numbers of citizens, Americans’ growing self-confidence infused them with the spirit of celebration. With this turn, fireworks became more popular than ever. Starting even in the late 18th century, politicians used displays to attract crowds to their speeches.
In 1892, a 400-year celebration of Columbus landing on our shores lit up the Brooklyn Bridge. Over one million people witnessed the event which was considered the greatest show ever seen in the Western Hemisphere.
Among the very recent magnificent displays, of course, have been the 1976 Bicentennial in the Nation’s Capital, the 1983 Brooklyn Bridge Centennial, the Macy’s extravaganzas, the inaugurations of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Bill Clinton, annual Independence Day celebrations and many more.
But all stand in shadow of the 1986 celebration of the Fourth of July and the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. The skies lit up over New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty on July 4, 1986, with a dazzling fireworks display destined to surpass any others held in this country, or the world.
The “Statue of Liberty Centennial Fireworks Spectacular” was an international display, with fireworks from many different countries including Japan, China, Germany, Italy, England, France, Spain, Canada, Australia, Taiwan and Brazil. Many were developed especially for this international program, never before seen anywhere in the world. Approximately 22,000 aerial fireworks were launched from over 30 barges and other vantage points, and an additional 18,000 “set pieces” – ground pictures, fountains, colorful low displays – were seen, stretching from the East River, around the tip of Manhattan, up into the Hudson River, and around the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
The production required an estimated 220 miles of wires, 777,000 pounds of mortar tubes (through which sky rockets and aerial bombs were launched) 30,000 pounds of in sundry equipment and staff of at least 100 pyrotechnics on the sites to produce the displays. The men responsible for producing this colossal event are among the most famous in the fireworks industry: George Zambelli, president, Zambelli Internationale, Inc., Newcastle, Pennsylvania; Felix Grucci, Jr., president, Fireworks by Grucci, Inc., Bellport, New York; and Robert A. Souza, president of Pyro Spectaculars of Rialto (Los Angeles), California. Known as fierce competitors in the industry, they never before worked as a “triad”, yet for this event worked closely for nearly a year, designing and planning the largest and most magnificent display in the world in honor of Independence Day and Miss Liberty’s 100th anniversary.
Fireworks have been with Americans since the nation’s very beginnings, and now more fireworks and ignited for the Fourth of July than for any other national celebration in the world.
Board any number of the city’s beautiful cruise boats for a full night of drinks, dancing and perfect fireworks viewing. The Circle Line offers the cheapest option to cruise the Hudson during the city’s biggest fireworks show. A live DJ will bring the party onto the dance floor, and food and drinks will be available for purchase on board. Pick up tickets online before they sell out; this is one of the most popular ways to see the display.
If you want to really party in style, board a 19th-century schooner — aptly named America 2.0 — and make a classy night of it with close friends and family. This is one of the more expensive cruises offered for Independence Day but if you’re looking to impress a date, it’s the activity for you. Hors d’oeuvres will be served alongside an open bar with champagne and other drinks. Be right on the water when fireworks are launched from six barges along the Hudson.
Taking place over the Hudson River, the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular show begins brings out about 2 million spectators every year
One of the most iconic images in the entire country, the Empire State Building can’t be beat for a patriotic fireworks viewing. You’ll need to plan ahead for this event because tickets are limited to only about 300 for the night. If you haven’t yet made it to the 86th floor of this historic building, now is your chance to see the Manhattan skyline lit up in celebration. Tickets will include admission to the observatory as well as light refreshments.
Every year, this museum opens its doors to ticketholders for a perfect viewing party of the Macy’s fireworks display. This World War II aircraft carrier turned museum promises a pretty patriotic Independence day as well. A ticket to the event will include entrance to the museum, a live DJ and a simulcast of the fireworks musical score. Special VIP vieweing of the spectacular event from the museum’s flight deck is the main attraction of the night.
Price: $150 rooftop general admission/$250 rooftop cabana
Hours: 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Rooftop bars are aplenty in New York, offering beautiful, sweeping views of the skyline. Perhaps the best known is Hudson Terrace. Grab a ticket now to the city’s premiere event, where you’ll enjoy a barbecue, open bar, live DJ and spectacular fireworks display. Find yourself a perfect spot on the dance floor, where you’ll be partying all night to the tune of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Another rooftop bar in NYC that offers great views of the Manhattan skyline is the Press Lounge, located at the top of the Ink48 Hotel downtown. Known as one of the hottest bars in the city, this lounge features comfortable seating, a glass-walled interior space and modern architectural touches such as a low pool lit by footlights at night. The July 4th celebration includes an open bar with signature cocktails and a buffet featuring organic foods from the hotel’s own restaurant, Print.
West Side Highway
Hours: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The fireworks show will be most visible from the West Side, from 22nd to 55th Street. The roadway can offer ideal viewing, as long as you’re willing to stand. Get there early to claim your spot. The northbound lanes of West Side Highway will be closed to traffic to allow visitors to watch the show from there. The highway opens to pedestrians at 4 p.m. 12th Avenue will also be open at the same time for more standing spots.
It wouldn’t be the Fourth of July in New York City without the Annual Macy’s Fireworks, now in its 37th year.
The iconic display will take place over the Hudson River, so the optimal viewing spots are going to be on 12th Avenue between 23rd and 42nd streets, but anywhere with a decent view of the Hudson will work.
It wouldn’t be the Fourth of July in New York City without the Annual Macy’s Fireworks
If you plan on heading to where the action is, aim to be there by 5 p.m. to snag a good spot.
For this mother of all pyrotechnic displays, Macy’s will explode more than 40,000 fireworks choreographed to a 25-minute patriotic score.
Pop-music fans, take note: this year’s show was curated by Usher and features performances by Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Mariah Carey and Selena Gomez.
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