In 1910, The American City published one of the first of numerous accounts of city officials' efforts to improve the safety of Independence Day celebrations. Largely unorganized and unregulated use of fireworks and homemade explosives killed 215 people — many of them children — in 1909 and injured 5,092, according to statistics from the Journal of the American Medical Association quoted in a June 1913 article. To reduce the number of injuries and deaths, many cities launched campaigns for a "Safe and Sane Fourth," which consisted of organized parades, music and games in parks, restrictions on the sale and use of fireworks, and public fireworks displays managed by experts.

The April 1910 edition of the magazine includes a description of Springfield, Mass.'s successful campaign to organize family friendly civic events for July 4. According to the author, Edward Moree, President Taft and 21 governors had promised the Society for the Suppression of Unnecessary Noise that they would cooperate in efforts to calm July 4 raucousness. The campaigns had to overcome resistance from fireworks vendors, individuals and some community leaders who would claim the organized events were "molly-coddlism."

The June 1915 edition of the magazine included two letters supporting the idea of making July 4 "Americanization Day." One letter was addressed to the nation's mayors from the Commissioner of Immigration at Ellis Island, Frederic Howe, and suggested that cities organize "citizenship receptions" on July 4. According to the letter, the idea began in Cleveland in 1914 when the "Sane Fourth Committee" invited newly naturalized citizens to a reception and presented each with a small American flag and a button of the city seal with the word "Citizen" on it. Attendees sang "The Star Spangled Banner," recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and listened to speeches by national, state and city officials. A second letter from Frances Kellor, editor of "Immigrants in America Review," solicits suggestions for a newly formed National Americanization Day Committee that would support similar events nationwide. "On this occasion, we will all seek together to make this July the Fourt a day of inspiration and fulfillment to all citizens alike."

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