Faces of the men who won America’s independence: Amazing early photos of heroes of the Revolutionary War in their old age
A Minuteman from Rehoboth, Massachusetts.
Hicks mobilised with his unit and helped seal off a British garrison in Boston after the Battles of Lexington and Concorde .
He served several short enlistments and fought in the Battle of Bennington, August 16, 1777.
After the war Hicks became something of a local celebrity and lived out his final years in in Sunderland, Vermont. He was the last person alive to have seen the Battle of Bennington.
Joined the Continental Navy at age 13 and served as a midshipman aboard the frigate Queen of France.
Taken as a prisoner of war, Head was released at Providence, Rhode Island and walked home.
His brother wrote that when he arrived, Head was deaf in one ear and had hearing loss in the other from the cannons’ concussion.
Settling in a remote section of Massachusetts that later became Maine, he was elected a delegate to the Massachusetts convention in Boston that was called to ratify the Constitution. \
When he died he was the richest man in Warren, Maine and stone deaf because of his war injuries.
Witnessed the British surrender at Yorktown, the event that guaranteed American independence.
Of the event, he said, ‘Washington ordered that there should be no laughing at the British; said it was bad enough to surrender without being insulted.
‘The army came out with guns clubbed on their backs. They were paraded on a great smooth lot, and there they stacked their arms.’
Beginner class in adult education, New Orleans, September 1936
African-Americans began to take advantage of opportunities that hadn’t been available to them previously. Here, children take park in a science class in a black high school, Washington, March 1942
For some African-Americans, these were gateways to achieving some of the most basic elements of citizenship, which had been illusive due to systemic racism and poverty. Here a man is seen controlling a road surfacing roller, Beltsville, Maryland, May 1940
Fireworks, parades and family fun: Glorious photographs of how Americans marked Independence Day over the last two centuries
The pursuit of happiness in the 1940s: Rarely seen photographs capture Americans enjoying their ‘unalienable rights’ as enshrined in the Declaration of Independence
Here she is: Miss America Winner Bess Myerson. She became the first Jewish woman to ever win the pageant in 1945 and Eisenstaedt was there to capture the historic moment
Rabid fans: Suits have been replaced with cotton sweats, but football fans haven’t changed otherwise. Thrilled spectators of the deeply American sport are captured here by Alfred Eisenstaedt
All or nothing: A Howard University cheerleader leads the squad during a football game with signature American panache
Anythings possible: This small-town girl, no doubt with big dreams, was captured smiling on her tree-lined street by Eisenstaedt
No limits: English major Helen Johnson, 18, at the University of Kansas
Say cheesey: The Winkle family on the stoop of their small town home during World War II
American pastoral: A farmer’s son hold a set of Hampshire piglets in Pennsylvania. The image of the farming family is indelibly American