Americans from Hawaii to New York marked the Fourth of July with fireworks, parades, food and fun including a pitchfork fondue in Montana and marchers dressed as rodents in Columbus, Ohio.
"Have a happy Fourth of July," said President Reagan, who played host to hundreds of White House and Secret Service personnel watching fireworks over the Washington Mall on Monday night.The joy of America's 212th birthday was muted by accidents and the drought, which snuffed fireworks in many communities because of fire fears.
An overloaded boat capsized in New Bedford Harbor in Massachusetts, leaving three dead and a child missing. At least 29 people suffered injuries in fireworks-related incidents.
In Boston, Gov. Michael Dukakis, the certain Democratic presidential nominee, and his wife, Kitty, joined Jesse Jackson and his wife, Jacqueline, beside the Charles River for the traditional Boston Pops concert and fireworks. The couples shared dinner earlier at the Dukakis home in Brookline.
Vice President George Bush, the Republican nominee apparent, made a number of campaign appearances, including a reception for nearly 200 people sworn in as U.S. citizens at the VP Fair in St. Louis.
"It's a great feeling," said Ali Omiar, an immigrant from Western Samoa. "I came here to get an education. Now I have that and this, too."
In Cape Canaveral, Fla., space shuttle Discovery made its long-delayed trip to the launch pad Monday, where it awaited a test firing of its main engine.
There were other ceremonies.
In Aransas Pass, Texas, about 500 shrimping vessels took part in the 40th annual Blessing of the Fleet.
Peace also was a theme of a parade in Coralville, Iowa, where Soviets taking part in the America-Soviet Peace Walk marched two miles to the applause of hundreds of residents.
"This is great," said Mayor Michael Kattchee. "I was born in Lithuania, so for me it is a great pleasure to see this happening."
About 220 Soviets and 100 Americans are on the cross-country journey that began in Washington, D.C., June 17.
In Willimantic, Conn., about 500 people marched down Main Street carrying their own music in the form of portable radios, or "boom boxes," to the delight of 1,000 spectators. The radios, tuned to a local station, played 25 marches and a finale featuring Kate Smith's rendition of "God Bless America."
In Columbus, Ohio, residents dressed as rodents wearing gas masks staged a Doo-Dah parade to mock odors from trash and sewage-treatment operations and factories on the city's south side.
"We dwell with the smell," said marcher Bob Lipetz. "A little chaos is good for society every now and then."
After a parade in Choteau, Mont., about 1,000 people repaired to the town park for pitchfork fondue: sirloin steaks impaled on the end of a pitchfork and plunged into a huge vat of rendered beef fat.