One of the marvels of film - whether it's still photography or motion videos - is that we can look back on the past in a tangible way. I love looking back at digital archives and photo albums from libraries and museums because it makes understanding history easier.

Today I want to share with you a moment in time relevant to our July 4th festivities: the Fourth of July Parade held in Seattle in 1936.

Seattle's July 4th Parade: A long-standing tradition

Seattle has held a parade for Independence Day for over 100 years - we have a record of the parade held in 1899. But celebrations in Seattle date back even before the 1870 declaration of the date as a federal holiday. HistoryLink even shares a brief account of a celebration held in 1854.

It doesn't come as a surprise that Seattle now ranks as one of the best cities in the U.S. to celebrate the 4th.

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What was Seattle like in 1936?

The Great Depression had a hold on the nation, and New Deal policies were starting to take hold in Seattle. Labor activism was at a peak, the Teamsters were on the front page, and the day before the parade, a cellar full of beer from a brewery closed due to labor strikes was dumped. Radicalism and socialist movements were on the rise. Social activism, too, was starting to shape the rights of minority groups. The world had just exited one war, and another was beginning to take shape.

In many ways, the Seattle seen in the album below was no different in terms of the culture. But unrest and change have never stopped Washingtonians from being patriotic.

LOOK: Seattle's Fourth of July Parade, 1936

Take a step back in time to see rare images from the 1936 Fourth of July parade held in Seattle, Washington.

Gallery Credit: Jaime Skelton

What happened after the parade?

A couple of major events are worth noting that happened in the months to follow.

Journalists would go on strike during the fall in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer strike. Meanwhile, the Voice of Action, an activist newspaper supported by unions and communists, would publish its final piece and merge with The Washington Commonwealth, before that too ceased publication.

And that fall, a rowing team from the University of Washington would compete in the 1936 Olympics, held in Nazi Germany. The team was full of young men who had struggled through their youth in rural Washington - but overcame adversity to travel across the world to compete against the globe. Their story is told in the documentary Boys of '36.

Care to cast one more gaze back in time in Washington state?

LOOK: Powerful Photos from Mount St. Helens' 1980 Eruption

One of the most impactful days in modern Washington state history was the eruption of Mount St. Helens, a volcano located in the Cascades range, on May 18, 1980. As time has passed, fewer people are alive that remember the images from that day - but they are important to remember the signs, and impact, of such a massive volcanic eruption in the Pacific Northwest. The area is still constantly monitored for signs of volcanic activity to minimize losses the next time an eruption occurs in the Cascades.

Gallery Credit: Jaime Skelton

10 of the Oldest Mansions in Seattle, Washington

Gallery Credit: Reesha Cosby

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