The countdown is on! It’s time to dig out your red, white, and blue wear because in exactly one week it’s time to celebrate the most important day in American history: Independence Day!

If you’re like most Americans, you’ll either set off fireworks to commemorate, head out to watch a professional fireworks show, or enjoy a combination of both! Everyone knows that fireworks are loud and colorful. Not everyone is aware of some of the more obscure facts about this mini bombs bursting air! Did you know:

· The first fireworks were set off in China and consisted of gunpowder stuffed into bamboo tubes? About 100 years later, the Chinese used those crude fireworks as weapons. They attached them to arrows (sometimes even stuffed rats inside the bamboo tubes), and fired them at their enemies!

· The Italians invented the fireworks that led to the amazing displays we enjoy today. In the 1800s, they mastered the cone-shaped shells that are packed with powder and chemicals and propelled into the night sky.

· Americans did not always have a love of fireworks, because a small contingent of fellow Americans had an abundance of love of fireworks! In the late 1800s, pranksters setting off fireworks day and night, year-round, became such a problem that a group of people created “The Society for the Suppression of Unnecessary Noise” to regulate fireworks.

Today, fireworks are associated with special occasions, and the biggest one is coming up in a week. Enjoy!