History and Heritage
Boston's Fourth of July started – like many things do – as just a simple idea. In September 1973, David Mugar suggested to Boston Pops Conductor Arthur Fiedler that in order to revive the diminishing Esplanade concert series it might be a good idea to play Tchaikovsky’s "1812 Overture" with a few added extras.
For the next Fourth of July, howitzer cannons, fireworks and church bells were all added to the concert so that, as Fiedler said, “All hell could break loose.” And for the first time, a July 4th fireworks display took place over the Charles River.
Now 40 years later, the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is known as the premier Independence Day celebration in the nation. Each year, since its inception, hundreds of thousands of people come from all over the country to the banks of the Charles River to celebrate America’s birthday while another seven million tune in nationally on the CBS Television Network to view the event during a live one-hour primetime special. Locally, the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is an institution seen on WBZ-TV Channel 4 from 8:00PM to 11:00PM.