Join the parade! See a 4th of July celebration in Oregon (1941)

Shortly before the attack on Pearl Harbor — the event that brought the United States into World War II — people around the country were enjoying the last few months before their age of innocence ended.

Here are some sweet, small-town photos from the Fourth of July parade, picnic and other carefree fun of the Independence Day celebrations in Vale, Oregon on July 4, 1941. (All photos by Russell Lee, courtesy of the LOC.)

Independence Day celebrations & parade in Vale, Oregon – the last 4th of July before WWII

Boy on float in Fourth of July parade

Boy on float in Fourth of July parade. Vale, Oregon


The flags are out on the Fourth of July

Ticket taker for pony ride concession on the 4th of July 1941 Vale, Oregon


Decorations on the Fourth of July

1941 Decorations on the Fourth of July. Vale, Oregon


A family picnic on the 4th of July, 1941

A family picnic on the Fourth of July 1941

A family picnic on the Fourth of July at Vale, Oregon


At a drinking fountain during the celebration

Vale, Oregon, July 4, 1941. At a drinking fountain during the celebration


Boys before the big parade for Independence Day

Boys, Fourth of July, Vale, Oregon 1941


Boys, Fourth of July, Vale, Oregon 1941

Children on float in Fourth of July parade 1941


Enjoying cold drinks in a cafe on the 4th

Cold drinks on Fourth of July. Vale, Oregon 1941


Decorating their automobile for the Fourth of July parade

Decorating their automobile for the Fourth of July parade


Even at a Fourth of July picnic, baby brother must have his nap

Even at a Fourth of July picnic baby brother must have his nap, Vale, Oregon 1941


Farmers in town for the Fourth of July celebration

Farmer in town for the Fourth of July celebration 1941


Kids on float in 4th of July parade, 1941

Kids on float in Fourth of July parade 1941


Lighting a firecracker at Fourth of July celebration

Lighting firecracker at Fourth of July celebration. Vale, Oregon 1941


Pony ride concession

Pony ride concession on the Fourth of July, at Vale, Oregon


Reading the comics – funny pages

Reading the comics - funny pages on 4th of July 1941


A ride at the carnival Fourth of July celebration Vale, Oregon – 1941

Ride at the carnival Fourth of July celebration Vale, Oregon 1941


Sign and decoration on the Fourth of July

Sign and decoration on the Fourth of July, Vale, Oregon 1941


The flags are out

The flags are out on the Fourth of July


Watching the Fourth of July parade

Watching the Fourth of July parade 1941

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