Disasters · Illinois · Newspaper clippings

1902 round-up of injuries and fatalities during the Fourth of July

July 5, 1902
The Chicago Daily Tribune runs an article listing 21 casualties and 2,172 injuries from the Fourth of July celebrations, making note that these figures are “far from complete”

Some notable details include a death “by fire set by punk” and injuries including the loss of eyes, limbs, and “fingers by the dozen [which] were torn off by cannon crackers.”

One of the specific stories featured involved a 13-year-old boy named Robert Kuhn, who had the distinction of being the first causality of the Independence Day celebrations. He and his cousin, Mary Neihl, were left alone with firecrackers. When the children used up all the firecrackers, Robert mentioned he knew where a gun was hidden, which he claimed held blanks. Robert pointed the gun at Mary and, when she ran away, he laughed and shot at her to prove the bullets were only blanks. He pulled the trigger a second time, killing himself with a shot to the head.

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