The night before July 4, people used to start the celebrations with an evening campfire. In New England, cities competed to build towering pyramids, assembled from drums and barrels. These were lit at nightfall, to make way for the celebration. The highest is located in Salem, Massachusetts (in Gallows Hill, the famous site of the execution of 13 women and 6 men for witchcraft in 1692 during the Salem witch trials, where the tradition of the bonfires in the celebration had persisted), integrated by forty barrels levels; these fires are the highest ever recorded. The practice flourished in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and is still practiced in some towns in New England.
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