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Today — on Monday, July 4 — our nation celebrates its 246th Independence Day.In honor of the federal holiday, Fox News Digital is highlighting joyful moments captured on film over the years. Some date as far back as 1919!4TH OF JULY: WHAT IS IT AND WHY DO WE CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAY WITH FIREWORKS?Check out these classic photos — and enjoy them on July 4th and every day of the year.July 4th is a patriot’s time to shine
A woman holds up an American flag while wearing a white dress. Her companion wears a Statue of Liberty costume. Photo is circa 1919.
(GHI/Universal History Archive via Getty Images)At a July 4th event hosted at The Ellipse park in Washington, D.C., in 1919, two women show off their patriotic pride with an American flag and a Statue of Liberty costume.Music and July 4th go hand-in-handOn July 4, 1922, three boys dressed in colonial attire embody the “Spirit of ‘76” — mimicking the painting created in 1876 by American artist Archibald M. Willard of Ohio.
A boy plays a flute while two other boys play the drums on July 4th, circa 1922.
(Buyenlarge/Getty Images)The original painting depicts a trio of Revolutionary soldiers marching with instruments, according to the Library of Congress. JULY 4TH TRIVIA: WHO WERE THE SIGNERS OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE?The painting is currently located at the Selectmen’s Room of Abbot Hall in Marblehead, Massachusetts.Sparklers are a staple
A girl holds two sparklers during a July 4th celebration, circa 1930.
(Bettmann via Getty Images)In the 1930s, July 4th celebrants weren’t afraid to use sparklers during Independence Day gatherings.Beach visitors beat the heat
Hot temperatures brought out record crowds to Jones Beach, Long Island, during the 4th, circa 1936.
(Bettmann via Getty Images)The 4th of July has served as a popular beach day for American families. In 1936, thousands of people took to the sands and shores of Jones Beach, Long Island.July 4th picnics bring families together
A family enjoys a July 4th fish fry during a picnic, circa 1940.
(Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)A family of farmers enjoyed a July 4th fish fry off the shores of the Cane River in Natchitoches, Louisiana. 4TH OF JULY QUIZ! HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW INDEPENDENCE DAY?American photographer Marion Post Wolcott captured the scene for the Farm Security Administration in July 1940.Patriotic parades entertain America’s crowds
Onlookers watch a 4th of July parade and marching band in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, circa 1950.
(Heilman/Classicstock/Getty Images)Residents gathered to watch an Independence Day parade in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Attendees looked on while a marching band passed by Main Street.THIS AMERICAN GAVE US ‘THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC’ — HERE’S HER STORYThere is pageantry on the 4th of July In Pennsylvania, locals have hosted an annual pageant called “The Queen of Candles” pageant, which occurs on July 4th.It launched in 1942, taking place in Lititz — and there’s a coronation procession for the winner.Twelve female high school students are selected by their classmates through a ballot. The first pageant was held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first candle illumination, according to the Borough of Lititz’s website. Twelve female high school students are selected by their classmates through a ballot. The winner is named queen and the others are her court.
Pageant contestants stand on a stage and light sparklers during The Queen of Candles, circa 1955.
(Evans/Three Lions/Getty Images)The Borough of Lititz reports that the July 4 celebration now attracts close to 20,000 people.You can’t have music without dancing
Two men dance during an Independence Day performance, circa 1960.
(Denver Post via Getty Images)On July 2, 1960, two men celebrated the 4th of July early when they danced to a live performance by a performing group named the How You Been String Band. The celebration was held in downtown Denver.Youth groups often participate
Boy Scouts carry American flags for the Fourth of July (AKA Honor America Day) in Washington, D.C., circa 1970.
(Alan Raia/Newsday RM via Getty Images)Boy Scouts of America troops donned their uniforms and carried American flags during a 1970 Fourth of July procession in Washington, D.C.July 4th shows are in demand
A massive crowd gathers to watch a 4th of July performance at the Hatch Memorial Shell in Boston, circa 1980.
(Janet Knott/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)Residents attended a July 4th concert at the Hatch Memorial Shell — an outdoor entertainment venue on the Charles River Esplanade in Boston, Massachusetts. They gathered before fireworks were set off on July 4, 1980. Nathan’s Famous is July 4th fixture
Three male contestants from Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island, New York, pose with plates of hot dogs, circa July 4, 1987.
(Walter Leporati/Getty Images)Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs, the American hot dog restaurant chain, has attracted millions of visitors to its Coney Island location with the company’s annual 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest.CONEY ISLAND HOT DOG EATING CHAMP JOEY CHESTNUT WILL DEFEND HIS TITLE ON CRUTCHESThe contest began in 1916.American flags take center stage
A car shows off two American flags before a July 4th parade in Carnation, Washington, circa 1990.
(Bromberger Hoover Photography/Getty Images)Two American flags were mounted onto a Cadillac trunk ahead of a Fourth of July parade, which took place in Carnation, Washington, in 1990.FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE FOX LIFESTYLE NEWSBonus: Here are 4th of July celebrations in the 21st century
Wayne Cotter tows his son, Isaac, at a 4th of July parade in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, circa 2000.
(Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)Parades remain a family affair in the USA. On July 4, 2000, comedian Wayne Cotter served as Grand Marshal of the Hidden Woods Eighth Annual Fourth of July Parade and Party in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Cotter made sure his son, Isaac, didn’t miss out on the fun and pulled him in a festive wagon.Families seek the great outdoors
Families picnic and lounge at a park in Silverton, Colorado, during the 4th of July, circa 2010.
(Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)The Fourth of July is a holiday that encourages families to get outside. In Silverton, Colorado, many families gathered at a local park on July 4, 2010.CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR LIFESTYLE NEWSLETTERFireworks are a July 4th must!
Fourth of July fireworks launched behind the White House in Washington, D.C., show, circa 2020.
(HUM Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)In 2020, a Salute for America fireworks display was fired off behind the White House in honor of the Fourth of July. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPThe pyrotechnic show was complemented by a specially lit portico in red, white and blue. Cortney Moore is an associate lifestyle writer/producer for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent on Twitter at @CortneyMoore716.
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