The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition started in 1924 (tying it for the second-oldest Thanksgiving parade in the United States with America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit. The oldest being Philly’s Dunkin Donuts Thanksgiving Parade starting in 1920). The Macy’s parade however has taken the prize as the biggest and most elaborate. It has been televised on NBC since 1952.
The balloon subjects have changed dramatically over the years as the popular culture shifted, starting with Felix the Cat in 1927, Mickey Mouse in 1934, Mighty Mouse in’51, Bullwinkle in ’61. No new characters were added from 1940 – 47 as rubber was at a premium for the war effort. Surprisingly Hello Kitty made an appearance in 1976 and Kermit the Frog in 1977 (didn’t know Hello Kitty was that old). The 2000’s saw such stars as Sponge Bob Squarepants, Pikachu, Garfield and the M & M’s. This years new character is one of the Angry Birds (jeez!).
I know I haven’t watched it in years but it still draws a TV audience and well over a million people line the streets of New York watch it sail down Broadway.
It’s a fact. Nothing more to say. Apologies to the great Buddy Miles.
What were they thinkin? Maybe it’s my 4th grade sense of humor but some of these seem a tad … suggestive/sexual/rapey. Some are just odd, all are wonderful. I mean “The Afternoon Tea-Baggers”, “Adventures of Uncle Cousin” or the fabulously titled “Don’t Miss the Great Snatch” by Elder Marshall Taylor. Apparently the Lord does move in mysterious ways.
The iconic Spider Pool mural is the largest remnant of screenplay writer and director John W. “Jack” McDermott’s (1892-1946) estate – the house itself was torn down in 1962 but the mural remains. The handmade tile mural and signature sculpted pool would become a popular backdrop for tons of cheesecake and nude photography from the 30’s to the 60’s. Jack would hold parties as well as camera club events (silent star Harold Lloyd being a popular face at the pool) making his property a go-to place for the hollywood crowd.
The house itself was a collection of film sets and construction pieces that Jack had appropriated from the studio back lots. As a writer for Famous Players-Lasky and Universal, he was used to seeing exquisitely-built movie sets discarded after only hours of use and decided to build his home from these discarded sets and pieces. The earliest mention of The House was in 1923 when McDermott purchased “six Algerian rooms used in Norma Talmadge’s recently completed picture, ‘The Song of Love’” and reassembled on his property. Other set pieces included palace girders from The Thief of Baghdad, tombstones from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, roofing from The Phantom of the Opera, a plaster goddess from Nazimova’s Salome, and a table from Robin Hood. It also featured pricey tile imported from places such as Italy and France due to McDermott, posing as a tile dealer, contacting tile companies for samples. In this manner, he was able to acquire thousands of dollars worth of free tile.
The house was partially destroyed by fire in 1947, demolished piecemeal by Darrell Gregory in response to the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety’s demands, and eventually razed in 1962. Only the spider mural, parts of the pool, the remnants of a structure that predates McDermott’s estate constructed no later than 1900, and other scattered remnants remain.
In the 60’s and 70’s if your parents had no imagination or extra time they could buy you a extremely flammable, dangerously hard to see out of mask with accompanying ill-fitting smock. These would come in, not only the old standbys like Frankenstein, Dracula, super heroes and clowns, but also the cultural icons of the day. To see small children in Kabe Caplin “Welcome Back Kotter” costumes or the Leather Guy from The Village People must have been something. How about creatively mind-boggling KFC’s Colonel Sanders, Robin Williams’ Mork, The Fonz, Donny Osmond, all 4 Beatles or Radar O’Reilly from Mash. The real odd-ball costumes were the “THINGS”, i.e. The shark from Jaws, Rubiks Cube, an asteroid from the video game Asteroids and Flipper, to name a very few. These went out of favor in the safety conscious 80’s when it was realized just how dangerous they actually were. Also who really wanted to wear an flammable New Kid’s on the Block, Donny Wahlberg costume anyway.