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Tip: Watch the fireworks from a Washington State Ferry | History Files

Independence Day all around, and history of the 4th


Last updated 8/6/2021 at 9:42am

On July 4th I didn't do the usual ritual of going to Civic Park to watch the fireworks show, but I did get a chance to enjoy it in another way. And I wondered how the first July 4th was observed in the region.

The first 4th of July in the Puget Sound area was celebrated in 1841 by members of the Wilkes Expedition, perhaps near Lake Sequalitchew on what is now Fort Lewis, or more likely closer to Fort Nisqually, which is about 4 miles from Lake Sequalitchew.

The Wilkes Expedition traveled by water on U.S. Navy vessels to get to Puget Sound, and we decided to do the same (as much as was poss...

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