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JAMA 100 Years Ago
June 17, 2009

PREPARE FOR THE FOURTH OF JULY

JAMA. 2009;301(23):2508. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.852

The time has come to sound again the annual warning of the approaching dangers of July Fourth, and once more to take up the task of counting the victims of our day of license and lawlessness. Year by year we see the daily press taking up the work more and more extensively, and becoming the most effective of all the allies in the fight against wanton manslaughter and mutilation. What the Fourth of July would become without this vigorous fight by the public press is hard to imagine, for even as it is the amount of carnage and conflagration has scarcely been held stationary for the last few years. Yet there is reasonable hope of better things, for here and there vigorous individuals or organizations have come to the front, insisted on the enforcement of reasonable municipal ordinances, and by so doing have demonstrated that Fourth of July accidents can be practically abolished without any great difficulty. It is only a question of time when the suppression of lawlessness and its consequent damage to person and property will become something more than a rare, astounding spasm of civic common sense.

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