1924: First Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
On this day in 1924, Macy’s department store in New York presented the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade – although then it was called a Christmas parade. The story goes that many of the store’s employees were first-generation immigrants who were proud to be American citizens and wanted to celebrate that fact through a Thanksgiving parade; an event that their parents had enjoyed in Europe. From the very first outing, the parade included elaborate costumes, floats, professional bands and even live animals that were borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. At the end of the parade when Santa made his entrance, he was escorted to the balcony of the 34th Street store entrance where he was crowned the “King of the Kiddies.” Three years later the parade saw its first large balloon character – Felix the Cat.
- 1940: Bruce Lee (martial artist)
- 1941: Eddie Rabbitt (singer)
- 1942: Jimi Hendrix (singer)
- 1951: Kathryn Bigelow (director)
- 1955: Bill Nye (science guy)
- 1964: Robin Givens (actress)
- 1973: Samatha Harris (TV host)
- 1976: Jaleel White (actor)
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.