Vintage July 4th Photos As You’ve Never Seen Them Before — and the Stories Behind Them

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In honor of this year’s 4th of July, the MyHeritage Research team found some intriguing historical photos taken as long as 150 years ago. They ran the photos through MyHeritage In Color™ and the Photo Enhancer to produce stunning, full-color, crystal-clear versions, and then set out to learn the stories behind the photos.

Below are the fascinating results.

Young Couple at a Restaurant

This photo was taken on July 4, 1945. We managed to locate the child of the couple depicted in it: Ed Yourdon of Washington, D.C. “My birth parents grew up in Washington D.C., married, and moved to Florida in the early days of World War II,” Ed writes. “My birth father worked as a flight instructor for the Air Force, and I was born on an Air Force base near Ft. Walton Beach, in the panhandle section of Florida.”

Ed explains that sometime after this photo was taken, his parents divorced, and his mother moved back to Washington D.C. with Ed. “After a bitter custody battle over me (so I’ve been told), I didn’t see my birth father again until I was 30 — at which point I was surprised to learn that I had 3 more half-sisters, in addition to the two I had grown up with.” It turned out that both of his parents remarried and had more children.

None of that future turbulence is apparent in this sweet photograph of Ed’s mother smiling mischievously and his father in his Air Force uniform.

Little Patriot 

This charming photo was taken on July 4, 1940. The little boy waving the flag is Eldon Miller. “That photo pictured one of my earliest memories,” says Eldon. “We were living in Oak Park, Illinois, on the edge of Chicago. Getting away to the park was a big deal and I was having a ball, running around, waving my American flag. Just a year later, my best friend and playmate, a little Japanese boy, was shipped off to an internment camp, and I had no one to play with. I didn’t know about Pearl Harbor. I just knew I loved my country, especially the Navy Sailors at Navy Pier nearby.”

Eldon served in the U.S. Army from 1959–1961 as an Army Band musician. He played the French Horn in many parades.

4th of July at the White House

The above photo was taken on July 4, 1947 at the Oval Office in the White House. It features President Harry S. Truman receiving the gift of a firecracker from a young boy.

This next photo shows a message of birthday greetings from 20,000 Mass citizens delivered July 4th to President Coolidge by Louis Demontreux, Messenger of the Western Union from Boston.

Do you have any old photos of your family celebrating July 4th? Try out the MyHeritage Photo Enhancer and MyHeritage In Color™ today.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Fourth of July!

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  • GP Cox


    July 6, 2020

    Fantastic!

  • Prescilla Viola Archibeque Tafoya


    August 29, 2020

    would like to find ancestors