Jack TenneyExtra Point

by Jack Tenney, Publisher

July 2018

Independence Day!

The first one, July 4, 1776, was celebrated with a 13-gun salute in Rhode Island. It wasn’t until July 4, 1789, that there was a president, and a couple years later before the war was officially over. Now, of course, the 4th is a super-duper holiday with parades and fireworks everywhere.


To me it was a holiday marked with ringing ears and ice cream headaches.


The company with probably the largest budget for fireworks has to be Disney, right? Estimates of its annual cost are around $50 million. It’s doubtful that it loses money on the pyrotechnical displays. If you make it to late afternoon, you stick around for the fireworks and spend more money.


I have a question: Apparently Arthur Fiedler played the 1812 Overture at the Boston Esplanade bowl in an early 1970s 4th of July performance — church bells, cannon, the whole enchilada as it were.

Every 4th of July concert by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra I’ve ever been to ends with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. 
The song brings out the patriotism for sure, with the National Guard’s shooting cannons and spectacular fireworks lighting the sky over Lake Champlain.

Thing is, it has nothing to do with us (spelled U.S.A.) It’s all about Napoleon’s retreating from Russia. A battle during Russia’s War of 1812 inspired our National Anthem!

Listen close: It starts with Russians praying softly, then there’s a bit of the French national anthem, Le Marseillaise, then it bumps up to the cannon salutes and fireworks.

God bless America!