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Independence Day

Fireworks.
Wikimedia Commons

By Carrie Pinkard

The United States of America is turning 243 years old this year, which means it’s time to celebrate.

All around the Tampa Bay area there are events where people can show off their patriotism. Below is a a list of things to do in the area, and what to listen to on WUSF/WSMR on your way there.

AAA

The Fourth of July is a holiday notorious for increased drunk driving accidents, so AAA and Budweiser are teaming up to get people home for free if they've had too much to drink.

Tony Fischer/ Flickr

While Independence Day fireworks come with lots of bright colors and loud noises that wow humans, they also can create an unsafe environment for pets.

Experts Caution Against Celebratory Gunfire

Jul 2, 2014
Open Society Foundation / http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/

When celebrating Independence Day, experts say you should keep guns off the list.

There will be lots of fireworks being shot into the sky on the Fourth of July, but law enforcement officers urge that celebratory gunfire should stay out of the mix.

"It only takes one gun and one bullet to kill someone," said Detective Larry McKinnon, the public information officer with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

He said that what the celebratory shooters are lacking is foresight.

The Fourth of July show will go on as usual tonight in Boston. For the 40th year in a row, the Boston Pops will perform along the banks of the Charles River as fireworks burst overhead.

But the scene and the mood will be different, with heavy security measures in the wake of the recent Boston Marathon bombings. It's in the back of many people's minds that the July 4 celebration was apparently the original target until, police say, the bombers decided to attack the race instead.

All over the country on Thursday, fireworks will light up the sky. In many places, those fireworks will come with a patriotic soundtrack — one that wouldn't be complete without "The Star-Spangled Banner." The song officially became America's national anthem in 1931, but it's been around since the early 19th century.

We often celebrate Independence Day with backyard barbecues and fireworks, forgetting the document that started this whole country: the Declaration of Independence.

For the past 20 years Morning Edition has asked NPR hosts and reporters to read the document on the Fourth, as a reminder of our country's history. This year, we decided to ask visitors at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to give it a try.

Patriotism And Protest: Jazz For July 4

Jul 4, 2013

Jazz music has become a point of pride for the United States of America: a homegrown art form forged from folk traditions. But jazz recordings of American patriotic songs aren't abundant. Perhaps because many of jazz's foremost creators were black Americans who lived in a society which actively discriminated against them, many didn't think to tackle that material.

Happy Independence Day, From NPR

Jul 4, 2013

It's simple, we just want to wish you a happy holiday weekend from NPR, wherever your taste buds take you.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Florida Ranks Third in Beer Consumption

Jul 3, 2013
morguefile.com

If you're celebrating the Fourth of July with a beer in hand, you're not alone. A new ranking released today by the Beer Institute places Florida at number three nationwide in beer consumption.

California and Texas ranked higher.

Almost 13 million barrels of beer were shipped to Florida last year. Even though Florida might have chugged the third most barrels of beer, it ranked 34th in consumption per capita.