London, United Kingdom

The Royal Fireworks of 1749

Celebrating the end of the War of the Austrian Succession, an 8-year battle that embroiled almost every country in Europe, this display came to a fiery halt when one of the fireworks landed on the pavilion of a building, which was holding several thousand fireworks inside. Three spectators were killed.

A musical composition was written especially for the occasion by George Frideric Handel. Performed during the display on April 27, Music for the Royal Fireworks was also heard by over 12,000 people a week prior at Vauxhall Gardens. The rush of spectators caused a massive traffic jam (of carriages!), which didn't let up for 3 hours.

Illustration via Wikipedia

The Royal Fireworks of 1749