Puck's pyrotechnics - Fourth-of-July fireworks free to all / Opper & Co.
Print shows a fireworks display with Puck bowing on a stage in front of a "Fan Light" featuring the likenesses of William H. Vanderbilt, Russell Sage, Cyrus W. Field, and Jay Gould; on stage with Puck is a hand holding a smoldering torch which may represent Bartholdi's hand and torch from the Statue of Liberty. On the left is a pagoda labeled "Puck Office" and on the right is a building labeled "Tammany Hall". Among the fireworks are many faces of politicians and other prominent figures of the day, some labeled by type of firework, such as "Chicago Shower", Arthur, Grant, Conkling, Logan and Cameron; "Tumbler", Tilden; "Twister", Schurz; "The Falling Tammany Star", Kelly; "Bomb", Davis; "Junk Whizzler", Robeson; "Polar Rocket", Bennett; "Buster", Butler; and "Star Route Staggerer", Dorsey. Others shown are James G. Blaine, Henry Ward Beecher, Elizabeth Tilton(?), Thomas De Witt Talmage, and Theodore Tilton.
It wasn't really until the 1700s that caricature truly blossomed as a form of political criticism. In the late 1750s, a man named Thomas Townshend began using the techniques employed by earlier engravers and applying them towards a political model. This gave Thompson's cartoons a much greater feeling of propaganda than previous artistic critiques of the time. The intense political climate of the period, and often accusatory nature of most political cartoons forced many artists to use pseudonyms in order to avoid accusations of libel. Other artists took it a step farther, and left their cartoons completely unsigned, foregoing any credit they may have received. Political higher-ups were notoriously touchy about their reputations and were not afraid to make examples of offenders. Puck was the first successful humor magazine in the United States of colorful cartoons, caricatures and political satire of the issues of the day. It was published from 1871 until 1918.
Chester Alan Arthur (October 5, 1829 – November 18, 1886) was an American attorney and politician who served as the 21st President of the United States (1881–85). He succeeded James A. Garfield upon the latter's assassination. The son of a Baptist preacher who had emigrated from northern Ireland, Arthur was born in Fairfield, Vermont, in 1829. He was graduated from Union College in 1848, taught school, was admitted to the bar, and practiced law in New York City. Early in the Civil War he served as Quartermaster General of the State of New York. Suffering from poor health, he retired at the close of his term. Journalist Alexander McClure later wrote, "No man ever entered the Presidency so profoundly and widely distrusted as Chester Alan Arthur, and no one ever retired ... more generally respected, alike by political friend and foe." He earned praise among contemporaries for his solid performance in office. The New York World summed up Arthur's presidency at his death in 1886: "No duty was neglected in his administration, and no adventurous project alarmed the nation." "I may be president of the United States, but my private life is nobody's damned business."
The legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain in 1776 occurred on July 2, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence declaring the United States independent from Great Britain's. After voting for independence, Congress voted for Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author and approved it two days later on July 4. Most historians, however, have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed. Since that, Americans celebrate independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.