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June 28, 1937 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Herbert Matter).
June 28, 1937 LIFE Magazine cover "Sea, Sand and Siren" (photo by Herbert Matter).LIFE Magazine
June 28, 1937 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Herbert Matter).
July 19, 1937 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Fenno Jacobs).
August 16, 1937 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by George Karger).
July 3, 1939 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by George Strock).
July 31, 1939 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Fritz Henle).
July 29, 1940 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by George Karger).
August 5, 1940 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by George Karger).
July 14, 1941 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt).
August 11, 1941 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Bob Landry).
July 9, 1945 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Ewing Krainin).
July 30, 1945 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Harriet Arnold).
July 15, 1946 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Roger Coster).
July 7, 1947 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by William Sumits).
July 19, 1948 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Michael Lavelle).
August 16, 1948 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Rue Farris Drew).
August 23, 1948 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Jon Brenneis).
June 27, 1949 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by George Silk).
July 4, 1949 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Ida Wyman).
July 25, 1949 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by George Silk).
June 19, 1950 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Nina Leen).
June 23, 1952 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Christa).
July 6, 1953 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Philippe Halsman).
August 24, 1953 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Lisa Larsen).
June 28, 1954 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Paul Himmel).
August 12, 1957 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Don Ornitz).
August 11, 1958 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Paul Schutzer).
June 1, 1959 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by A.Y. Owen).
August 1, 1960 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Lynn Pelham).
July 9, 1965 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Howell Conant).
July 19, 1968 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Denis Cameron).
August 22, 1969 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Vernon Merritt III).
July 10, 1970 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Co Rentmeester).
September 3, 1971 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Michael Mauney).
June 2, 1972 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Bill Eppridge).
July 28, 1972 LIFE Magazine cover (photo by Douglas Kirkland).
June 28, 1937 LIFE Magazine cover "Sea, Sand and Siren" (photo by Herbert Matter).
LIFE Magazine
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35 of LIFE Magazine's Best Summer Covers

Jun 17, 2015

For all of LIFE Magazine’s coverage of serious matters--from war to politics to movements--the editors also had their fingers on the pulse of American leisure. Simply put, they cared about how their readers had fun, and the magazine's covers reflected that. Never were LIFE’s editors more interested in recreation than during the summer, when covers zeroed in on beach excursions and sailing jaunts, poolside fashions and children at play. Here, to celebrate the impending arrival of the season, a collection of LIFE’s most memorable summer covers.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.

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