It’s Independence Day here in the U.S.

As you’d imagine, a bunch of papers today found interesting ways to celebrate the holiday on page one. Here’s a look at 13 of the best of ’em — one for each of the original 13 states — as seen at the Newseum


Woodland Park, N.J.

Circulation: About 50,000

The page-one fireworks shot is always a popular way to go on the Fourth. And, sure enough, there must be three or four dozen papers that put fireworks out on A1 today.

But few chose a picture better than this one by Herald News staffer Tyson Trish.

Setting the photo off perfectly is the headline: “Rocket’s red glare.” I might have made the first work plural. But that’s a minor quibble.


Los Angeles, Calif

Circulation: 94,192

Two papers today went with poster treatments of fireworks photos.

This one on the front of the Los Angeles Daily News certainly makes for an outstanding visual.

But here’s my quibble. This picture is credited not to a staff photographer, but to Getty Images. Was it shot locally? Was it even shot this year? There is no cutline info at all. And I can’t read a caption, I tend to get suspicious.

If it’s file art or even a Getty shot from way back, then tell us.


Appleton, Wis.

Circulation: 38,05

Conversely, check out this picture on the front of the small Post-Crescent of Appleton, Wis.

That photo was shot in Appleton Sunday night by Post-Crescent staffer Ron Page.

So good job by the Post-Crescent for playing up a dynamite staff photo — shot on deadline — in such a wonderful way.

Next time, however, they might try putting a caption and a credit out on page one somewhere. The only way I know for sure about this picture was by looking it up in the Fourth of July photo gallery on their web site.


Bend, Ore.

Circulation: 44,314

Another common approach on the Fourth of July is a graphic explaining how fireworks work — how they get the various shapes and colors we see every Fourth.

The Bend, Ore., Bulletin built page one around a fireworks graphic, but this one didn’t take the standard approach. This one focused on how computers control the number and height of each exploding shell.

Staffer Andy Zeigert built the graphic. Staffer Ryan Brennecke shot the photo.


Tulsa, Okla.

Circulation: 90,499

Yet another common Fourth of July approach is to present a quiz on American history.

This one is particularly well-done, thanks to photoillustration work by staffer Ethan Erickson.


Spokane, Wash.

Circulation: 72,479

The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Wash., put the focus on things local folks might to today to celebrate the holiday.

The Uncle Sam illustration is by staffer Molly Quinn. Staffer Sara Leaming researched and wrote the text.


Columbia, S.C.

Circulation: 77,102

The paper in Columbia, S.C., took an interesting approach today. A local resident recently found a copy of a Columbia newspaper from 100 years ago today, in his attic.

Staffer Joey Holleman reports:

Record-breaking high temperatures, a political party struggling to maintain cohesion and Congress having to work overtime because it failed to accomplish its job on time.

Those are among the news stories from Columbia’s The Daily Record on July 4, 1911. In some respects, little has changed in the 100 years since that newspaper was used to plug a drafty crack in a house in Saluda County.

Find the entire story — including high-resolution photos of some of the pages — here.


Quincy, Mass.

Circulation: 41,135

In historic Quincy, Mass., the Patriot Ledger ran the entire text of the Declaration of Independence on page one today.

This caught my eye, because a) It seems unusual. I don’t think I’ve seen this before on a Fourth of July page one. And b) I’m told one of my former papers — the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C. — ran the text of the Declaration of Independence today but edited it down.

Which — correct me if I’m wrong — pretty much defeats the purpose. University of North Carolina professor Andy Bechtel — also a former N&O staffer — tweeted about this today:

They cut the complaints against the king. I love that part.

Andy then linked to yet another or our former N&O colleagues — Scott Huler — who blogged about diagramming the famous first sentence in the Declaration of Independence. Find that bit of brilliance here.


Omaha, Neb.

Circulation: 142,283

It wasn’t the Declaration of Independence Omaha put out front today. It was the National Anthem.

The story is one you’ve seen before — the Star-Spangled Banner is difficult to sing for anyone who’s not had professional training. Find the story here.

As if that wasn’t enough, the World-Herald included a video presentation of the Banner by Senior Master Sgt. Jimmy Weber of the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band. He sings the National Anthem — all four verses of it — accompanying himself on guitar.

Take the time to watch that, if you will. Wonderful stuff today by the World-Herald.


Fort Myers, Fla.

Circulation: 73,275

Independence Day is one of those cool days when it’s fairly easy to manufacture nice-looking A1 art if you have no photo to work with.

Case in point: Today’s Fort Myers front page.

Very simple. Very clean. Very attractive.


Tampa, Fla.

Circulation: 164,568

Up the coast in Tampa, the Tribune used a similar visual motif but instead of laying their simplified flag behind a story, the designers there put it behind a giant collection of trivia and interesting numbers.

This type of graphic has become very popular over the past few years. It’s not really an infographic and it’s not really “data visualization” — because the visuals here don’t really help you visualize or put into context the actual numbers. The numbers are simply played up large.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with that. Just as long as we understand this is a glorified bullet list of factoids and not an infographic that will make the info clearer for the reader to understand.

Having said all that: This particular page is one of the better-executed examples I’ve seen lately of this kind of graphic. Kudos today to the folks at the Tribune.


Kansas City, Mo.

Circulation: 209,258

Ah, so much visual goodness for us here afront the Kansas City Star.

I’ve gotten to the point where, at every holiday, I turn to the Newseum to see what the Star did with its nameplate. They’re really starting to push these Google Doodle-like treatments. And I love it.

Click for a larger look…

As front-page designer Charles Gooch told us on Father’s Day:

The art was done by our ace illustrator Hector Casanova. We like to have a little fun with the flag on holidays and use the Google Doodle as our inspiration.

Find the Father’s Day nameplate here.

I presume Hector drew this one, too.

The kid on the left here looks like Charlie Brown in his skivvies.

And notice how the word “Star” becomes part of the fireworks display.

Fabulous stuff, as always.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Star today also played up a photo of a ripped and tattered U.S. flag, proudly flying over a church in Joplin, Mo.

That wonder photo is by staffer Todd Feeback.


New York, N.Y.

Circulation: 916,911

The New York Times, too, used a wonderful photo from Joplin for lead art today on page one.

The picture by Times staffer Damon Winter shows a ripped flag flying over what’s left of a home. There’s no info given on who the woman is or whether or not she lost her loved ones in that house.

The Times played that gorgeous shot across four columns today.

All of these front pages come from the daily archive at the Newseum. Of course.

My favorite Fourth of July page this year actually ran on the third. Check out the Orange County Register‘s Sunday front here.

A family emergency kept me from reviewing Fourth of July pages last summer. But go here to see a nice roundup of Independence Day pages from 2009.