After a few years away due to COVID the annual fireworks returned to the riverfront this year in spectacular fashion. However it got me thinking about the history of the fireworks, and exactly how the first ones were handled in the media… I decided to go back through old newspapers and see how that first fireworks display was handled back in 1959. From July 4, 1959, 63 years ago today….
The Detroit Free Press led with a photograph of the fireworks above the fold, along with reports of over half a million people being downtown to watch them.
The Windsor Star makes no comment of it, with the Queen’s visit taking front page news that day.
The third page, which back then used to be the local news page had a photo of the traffic jam following the fireworks, but you had to turn towards the back of the paper before any shots of the show appeared for Windsor readers…
It’s great to see the claims of a million people watching the fireworks from both sides of the river were there from the start.
While the first year didn’t quite get treated as a very big deal, by the next year, it was front page news. By 1961, it was as big a deal as it is today:
I hope everyone had a great long Weekend, and happy 4th of July to our American friends and neighbours.