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Fourth of July celebrations through the years

Girl with sparklers, 1930. (Photo: Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

Fourth of July celebrations through the years

The Fourth of July celebration wasn’t always celebrated with a Macy’s fireworks show off the Manhattan waterfront.

Indeed, along with the fireworks, Independence Day events throughout the years often came with  light-hearted traditions like beauty contests, parades, dances, and eating contests. The following photos document some of those festivities dating back to the 19th century.

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