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21 Delightfully Odd Pictures From 4th Of July History

Journey with us back in time to witness the fun and bizarre ways Americans have celebrated the 4th of July.

Posted on July 3, 2020, at 10:31 a.m. ET

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Early automobiles crowd the shoreline of Nantasket Beach, Massachusetts, on July 4 weekend, circa 1925.

Hirz / Getty Images

A new biplane paraded down New York City's Fifth Avenue with its propeller in full gear, circa 1920.

Buyenlarge / Getty Images

Eunice Padfield and her horse perform a death-defying stunt before holiday crowds in Pueblo, Colorado, July 4, 1905.

Library of Congress

Hot-air balloons depart for Chicago's first-ever White City Balloon Race, July 4, 1908.

Chicago History Museum / Getty Images

An enormous, 62-foot-tall copper-plated elk is erected by the local Elks Lodge in Butte, Montana, for 4th of July celebrations in 1916.

Transcendental Graphics / Getty Images

A Chinese dragon and its contingent slither through New York City's 4th of July parade, circa 1912.

Buyenlarge / Getty Images

Indigenous children in Nome, Alaska, celebrate the holiday in 1955.

Herbert / Getty Images

A parent's worst nightmare: Children show off incorrect, dangerous ways to play with firecrackers in 1922.

Getty Images

Three drummer boys prepare for their debut performance during a 4th of July parade in 1935.

Fpg / Getty Images

Way before the era of social distancing, crowds pack in tight at Coney Island, New York City, during 4th of July weekend, 1938.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

The legendary boxer Jack Johnson reigns victorious over Jim Jeffries during a special July 4 match in Reno, 1910.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

A rare color photo of 4th of July celebrations on St. Helena Island, South Carolina, circa 1939.

Buyenlarge / Getty Images

Long before the Daytona 500, stock cars race on the shores of Daytona Beach, Florida, July 4, 1940.

Racingone / ISC Archives/CQ-Roll Call Group

Teenagers relax in sun in this leisurely beach scene in Santa Monica, July 4, 1950.

Ralph Crane / Getty Images

A woman in heels tries desperately to keep her balance on Coney Island's Barrel of Fun ride, July 4, 1942.

William Vandivert / Getty Images

Wantagh, New York, is bright with joy and festivities, July 4, 1961.

Getty Images

A group of barefooted hippies sit back and watch the 4th of July parade in Wakefield, Massachusetts, 1970.

Boston Globe / Getty Images

Crowds gather near the World Trade Center at the Battery Park City landfill in New York City for America's bicentennial celebration in 1976.

Allan Tannenbaum / Getty Images

Two young women try their best to teach an older gentleman how to do the "Macarena" during July 4 celebrations in New York City's Battery Park, 1997.

Melvin Levine / Getty Images

And lastly, motorcycle police performing as a human pyramid during 4th of July celebrations in Pacific Palisades, California, 1994.

Joe Sohm / Getty Images

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.