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Fireworks July 5, 1777

On Saturday, July 5, 1777, a day after the anniversary of American Independence, the revolutionary John Adams wrote to his daughter from Philadelphia that he “was surprised to find the whole city lighting up their candles at the windows.”

The year before, on July 4, 1776, representatives of the 13 American colonies were in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to declare independence from Great Britain.

Philadelphia is still lighting up the candles as you can see in this photograph taken 236 years later by a human living and working on the International Space at 09:28 GMT February 6, 2012.

It includes most of the 13 colonies: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. Image credit: NASA