World traveler — and occasional All Things Considered host — Tom Crann sends this photo along. He was walking around the Washington Mall last night when cannon fire broke out. The military units were practicing for the 1812 Overture. How much practicing, though, do you really need? Da da da da-da da da da dum da….BOOM! Same as it’s been every year since Tchaikovsky’ wrote the thing in 1880.
Now gun placement, that’s something that needs practicing. Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart recently told the story of the the Massachusetts National Guardsmen aiming the cannons toward the Hatch Shell, where the Pops perform on July 4th. When it came time for the big part, the shock wave sent the Pops musicians scurrying for cover.