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It was a troubling decade: America was a nation healing from the Great Depression, and had spent four years engaged in a war that would devastate millions worldwide.

But on the beaches of Coney Island, New Yorkers young and old could forget their worries for the day as they splashed in the sea, relaxed with their sweetheart in the sand or chowed down on a hot dog from the original Nathan's.

Antique photos from the 1940s - before, during and after America's involvement in the Second World War - illustrate the carefree summers of years past. It is an atmosphere that can still be found any given day on the famed boardwalk. 

To read more: 

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coney wonderland circus sideshow coney island 1512BF9A5D00CC68C3B Reginald Marsh (1898-1954) French / American - Wonderland Circus, Sideshow Coney Island. 1930

HoopesSamantha Hoopes @ Coney Island, 2016 - follow Samantha on Instagram @samanthahoopes

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