Fourth of July Celebrations From the 1870s to 1940

Photos from the Library of Congress show how Americans celebrated Independence Day through the years.

July 3, 2014, 9:16 a.m.

It wasn’t al­ways bar­be­cues and pool parties. Cel­eb­rat­ing the Fourth of Ju­ly has evolved through the years—ex­cept for the parades and fire­works. They’ve pretty much stayed the same. Here are some his­tor­ic­al im­ages from the Lib­rary of Con­gress chron­ic­ling In­de­pend­ence Day fest­iv­it­ies around the coun­try from 1876 to 1940. 


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