In pictures: A 100 years of 4th of July celebrations


The first officially celebrated Independence Day in 1777 was marked in a way that would be very familiar to most modern Americans. There was an official dinner for the Continental Congress, toasts were made and 13-gun salutes fired. There were speeches, prayers, music, parades, troop reviews, and fireworks. Ships were decked with red, white, and blue bunting.

A year earlier, founding father John Adams had written to his wife Abigail, “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

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Incredible 3D colour images from 1850s Japan

In 1851, when Scotsman Sir David Brewster invented a photographic device called the Lenticular Stereoscope, the way people saw the world changed forever. After presenting it to Queen Victoria at the Great Exhibition in London, Victorians went crazy for the new machine. Photographers were sent far and wide to record famous sights and events in stereo. “See the world from your parlour!” was just one of the many advertising slogans used to promote the fabulous new medium to knowledge thirsty Victorians. These incredible 3D images are just a fraction of the tens of thousands produced.

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