Today — Monday, July 4 — our nation celebrates its 246th Independence Day.
In honor of the federal holiday, Fox News Digital is highlighting the happiest moments captured on film over the years.
Some date back to 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 the 4th of July and every day of the year.
July 4th is the Patriots’ time to shine
In 1919, at a 4th of July event in Ellipse Park in Washington, DC, two women showed their patriotism by wearing American flag and Statue of Liberty dresses.
Music and the 4th of July go hand in hand
On July 4, 1922, three boys dressed in colonial dress had the “Spirit of ’76” – imitating an 1876 painting by American artist Archibald M. Willard of Ohio.
According to the Library of Congress, a trio of original paintings depict Revolutionary soldiers marching with instruments.
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This painting is currently in the Selectmen’s Room at Abbott Hall in Marblehead, Massachusetts.
Sparklers are key
In the 1930s, 4th of July celebrants weren’t afraid to use sparklers at Independence Day rallies.
Beachgoers brave the heat
The 4th of July served as a popular beach day for American families.
In 1936, thousands of people flocked to the sands and shores of Jones Beach on Long Island.
4th of July picnics bring families together
A farming family enjoys a 4th of July fish fry on the banks of the Cane River in Natchitoches, Louisiana.
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American photographer Marion Post Wolcott captured the scene in July 1940 for the Farm Security Administration.
Patriotic parades entertain the American masses
Residents gather to watch the Independence Day parade in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Attendees watched as a marching band marched down Main Street.
There is a procession on July 4
In Pennsylvania, locals hold an annual pageant called “The Queen of Candles” on the 4th of July.
It was opened in Lititz in 1942 – and there was a coronation procession for the winner.
Twelve female high school students are selected by ballot of their classmates.
According to the Borough of Lititz website, the first display was held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the lighting of the first candle.
Twelve female high school students are selected by ballot of their classmates. The winner is named Rani and others are her court.
The Borough of Lititz reports that July 4th celebrations now draw nearly 20,000 people.
You can’t have music without dancing
On July 2, 1960, two men danced to a live performance by a show troupe called the How You Been String Band to pre-celebrate the 4th of July.
The ceremony was held in downtown Denver.
Youth groups are often involved
Troops of the Boy Scouts of America wear their uniforms and carry American flags during the 1970 Fourth of July parade in Washington, DC.
4th of July shows are in demand
Residents attend a July 4 concert at the Hatch Memorial Shell, an outdoor entertainment venue on the Charles River Esplanade in Boston, Massachusetts.
They gathered before the fireworks on July 4, 1980.
Nathan Famous 4th of July
Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs, an American hot dog restaurant chain, draws millions of visitors to its Coney Island location with the company’s annual 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest.
Champ Joey defends his name on Coney Island hot dog crutches eating chestnuts
The competition started in 1916.
American flags take center stage
Two American flags are placed on the trunk of a Cadillac before the 1990 Fourth of July parade in Carnation, Washington.
Bonus: Here’s a look at 4th of July celebrations in the 21st century
Parades in the USA remain a family affair.
On July 4, 2000, comedian Wayne Cotter served as grand marshal for the eighth annual Hidden Woods 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 into the festival wagon.
Families want the great outdoors
The Fourth of July is a holiday that encourages families to get outdoors.
In Silverton, Colorado, on July 4, 2010, several families gathered at a local park.
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Fireworks are a must on the 4th of July!
In 2020, America celebrated the Fourth of July with a fireworks display behind the White House.
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Accompanying the pyrotechnic display is a specially lit portico in red, white and blue.