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July 14, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXV(2):98-99. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460280034011

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The Fourth of July has passed with its usual record of casualties and it becomes necessary to say our annual word in regard to them. There is a phase of the popular idiocy of the day that has not received the attention it deserves, yet it is a psychologic factor of great influence in the often unfortunate outcomes. It is not mere noise, that the average boy or hobbledehoy enjoys; it is the zest of risk and the notion that there is something manly in playing with gunpowder and firearms on this day of license. If it were not for this, half the interest would be gone—we can testify to this, since, as the saying goes, we have been there ourselves. The younger the child, the easier is this gratified, the firecracker burns on the fingers and the holes in the clothes are shown with pride. With the older child

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