On the U.S. bicentennial, Mayor Ralph Perk started his July 4 in New York City, where commemorative tall ships swayed in the harbor, then jetted back to Cleveland to join in the Festival of Freedom. “This is one of the most spectacular fireworks displays this city, or any city, has ever produced,” the mayor said after disembarking from a helicopter among the Edgewater crowd. So fine were the impending fireworks that he promptly re-boarded the helicopter and whipped into the night to see from above the fray, according to The Plain Dealer.
The crowd below was rowdy, as were the times, just after the end of the Vietnam War. Twenty-five children and one husband were reported lost, and, the previous day, police removed a 2-foot pipe bomb from Edgewater Beach. But the crowd refused to be cowed. After a baseball game at Municipal Stadium concluded, they were treated to an incredible show. Then, from down the Lake Erie shoreline in Lakewood came an encore, more fire-painting on the night sky.
As people climbed into their cars to head home that Independence Day, there was only one thing in which to be disappointed: The Cleveland Indians had lost to the New York Yankees, 4-3.
10:00 AM EST
July 3, 2018