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JAMA 100 Years Ago
September 3, 2008


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2008;300(9):1088. doi:10.1001/jama.300.9.1088-b

Public opinion is gradually arraying itself against the present intolerable method of celebrating the Fourth of July, whereby so many people, mostly bright, active children, are condemned to an agonizing death by lock-jaw or to be killed outright, and whereby thousands annually are rendered blind, lose legs, arms, or hands or are otherwise maimed for life. That public opinion will eventually force the lessening or prevent this annual carnage is evidenced by the fact that each year more cities are adopting ordinances to restrict the sale of fireworks. Several large cities have limited the sale and use of fireworks to two, three or four days preceding the Fourth, while some have rigidly limited the nuisance to one day. Two cities, Toledo and Baltimore, have practically prohibited all fireworks for the past two and three years respectively, with the result that the numbers of killed and injured are far less than in other cities of equal size. This year Cleveland has a record of 12 persons killed and 93 injured. This so aroused the people that the city council has passed an ordinance prohibiting hereafter the use of any kind of fireworks in the celebration of the Fourth of July. We understand that manufacturers of fireworks are trying to secure a repeal of the ordinance, but it is hoped not only that the law will stand and be vigorously enforced, but also that other cities will adopt and enforce similar measures.