Support for LAist comes from
Made of L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

Photos: How L.A. Celebrates Independence Day, From 1873 To Today

Support your source for local news!
The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

Independence Day is almost here in Los Angeles, which means your poor dog is already cowering in a closet somewhere, terrified of the fireworks, and that smell invading your apartment is definitely not a gas leak—it's just your overly enthusiastic neighbor's grill. We've got you covered on firework plans, and the L.A. Times has a serious parade rundown here.

Los Angeles may be a good deal younger than some other parts of the nation (El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles Sobre el Rio de la Porciuncula wasn't founded until 1781, five years after the Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1776), but that doesn't mean we don't have a long history of celebrating the 4th of July. A trip into the USC and Los Angeles Public Library archives turned up photographs of L.A. Independence Day celebrations going all the way back to 1873, the same year the first high school in Los Angeles was built and our first trolley line went into operation. The city's population at the time was a mere 5,728 people. Scroll through the photos above to see how Los Angeles has celebrated over the last century and a half.

Most Read