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July 3, 2017

22 Rare Photographs Capture 4th of July Celebrations Across the United States From the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries

America celebrates July 4 as Independence Day because it was on July 4, 1776, that members of the Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, adopted the final draft of the Declaration of Independence.

Following its adoption, the Declaration was read to the public in various American cities. Whenever they heard it, patriots erupted in cheers and celebrations.

In 1777, Philadelphians remembered the 4th of July. Bells were rung, guns fired, candles lighted, and firecrackers set off. However, while the War of Independence dragged on, July 4 celebrations were modest at best.

When the war ended in 1783, July 4 became a holiday in some places. In Boston, it replaced the date of the Boston Massacre, March 5, as the major patriotic holiday. Speeches, military events, parades, and fireworks marked the day. In 1941, Congress declared July 4 a federal holiday.

Over time, various other summertime activities also came to be associated with the Fourth of July, including historical pageants, picnics, baseball games, watermelon-eating contests, and trips to the beach. Common foods include hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob, apple pie, cole slaw, and sometimes clam bakes.

May 15, 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed into law the Agricultural Act that established the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

4th of July parade on North Main Street, Los Angeles, 1871.

Fourth of July celebration, Snohomish, Washington, c.1874

1 Grand Army of the Republic in parade. Parade at 1915 Encampment.

4th of July parade float in Huntsville, Alabama.

The 1862 gold town of Canyon City, Oregon, The Independence Day parade, 1885.

July 4th parade with goat cart, Hayne Street in Monroe, North Carolina.

4th of July float on the brick streets of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

4th of July parade, Denver, Colorado, 1890.

Deadwood, South Dakota, 1888.

Grange float 4th of July parade in Evansville, Indiana.

4th of July at Bridge Main Street, Gatesville, Texas.

4th of July parade, Calaveras County, California.

Deadwood, South Dakota, ca. 1890s.

4th of July parade in New York, 1911.

4th of July parade in Minnesota.

4th of July celebration, Seaside, Oregon, ca. 1900s.

Westward Expansion float.

Fourth of July parade in Salida, Chaffee County, Colorado, 1900.

July 4th celebration in Alaska.

4th of July parade in Indiana, 1909.

4th of July parade, Frederick, Maryland, 1912.



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