Image Gallery: Glorious Fourth!

We bring you a celebration in pictures for Independence Day.

Spectators view fireworks from a sandy parking lot.
(© SEPS)

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Pride of country

Holidays were always a source of inspiration for Post illustrators, and no day could be more inspiring than the glorious Fourth of July. Here, a variety of Post illustrators give their tributes to the day, the country, and the American people.


Spectators view fireworks from a sandy parking lot.
Fireworks, Ben Kimberly Prins, July 4, 1953. (© SEPS)

Rockets, thunder, and explosions of light were a sign of rejoicing in 1953 America. While such a display would inspire terror in war-torn countries of this time, Post editors noted that for Americans, “the roaring fire in the sky is nothing to be afraid of; it is beautiful.”

Brass band parades through the streets of a Pennsylvania town in view of spectators.
Independence Parade, John Falter, July 7, 1945. (© SEPS)

John Falter, famous for his portrayals of small-town America, captures the atmosphere of the Fourth in Perkasie, Pennsylvania. To GIs still in the Pacific in 1945, the image of this humble celebration must have been a reminder of what they were fighting for.

Uncle Sam sleeping in a wooden chair. A lit firecracker burns just next to him.
Sleeping Uncle Sam, J.C. Leyendecker, July 5, 1924. (© SEPS)

J.C. Leyendecker has Uncle Sam somnolently posed over a lit firecracker. Was the artist suggesting that the Roaring ’20s would soon wake Sam up?

Light of Liberty

Young woman lights a Japanese paper lantern that's decorated with the U.S. flag.
Japanese Lantern, Katherine R. Wireman, June 28, 1924. (© SEPS)

In an intriguing interplay between light and shadow, artist Katherine Wireman evokes the delight of a just-lit holiday lantern.

Brass band plays patriotic music in a park gazebo.
Patriotic Band Concert, Stevan Dohanos, July 7, 1951. (© SEPS)

Stevan Dohanos tried to fit the entire Delaware Academy Central School Band on the bandshell in Delhi, New York. But the small stage wouldn’t permit it, so he dedicated this cover to the full third of the band members who had to sit this one out.

The Statue of Liberty in front of a radient sun. Ocean waves crash before it.
Statue of Liberty, J.C. Leyendecker, July 7, 1934. (© SEPS)

Leyendecker’s Fourth of July cover for 1934 presents an electric figure whose torch shines brightly even at the height of the Great Depression.

This article is featured in the July/August 2018 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

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