Vintage Photos of Spring Breakers

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Spring break season is upon us — a time when students everywhere step away from the books to decompress and indulge. Films like Spring Breakers paint a colorful picture of the MTV generation binging on drink, drugs, and sex once the temperature starts to rise and their weeklong break from the stresses of school affords them the freedom to sow their wild oats. Were the students in past a tamer bunch? Celebrations seem wilder these days, but some things never change — as evidenced by these vintage photos of spring breakers ready to get their party on.

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Ladies ready to let loose at a 1944 Navy dance during World War II.

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Smith College spring breakers in 1925 and 1928 ready to take off and on the road. Those cars probably have a few stories to tell.

Photo credit: Keith McManus

Keith McManus captured partygoers in 1982 at a spring break mecca — Daytona Beach, Florida. During the 1980s, over 350,000 students visited the beaches every spring.

Photo credit: Keith McManus

Photo credit: Keith McManus

Photo credit: Keith McManus

Photo credit: Keith McManus

Photo credit: Keith McManus

Photo credit: Robert Anderson Gallery

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Spring break in 1986, Florida

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Spring break in 1986, Florida

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Students from East Texas State College on Galveston Island ready to party on “Splash Day” in 1962.

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The best way to hitch a ride to the beach in 1962.

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Students arrested for inciting a riot on Galveston Island in 1961.

Photo credit: State Archives of Florida

Photo credit: Fort Lauderdale Historical Society

Image credit: Fort Lauderdale Historical Society

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Vassar students spending spring break stretched out on a lawn in 1950.