The annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, one of the world's largest parades, is presented by the U.S. based department store chain Macy's.
The parade started in 1924, tying it for the second-oldest Thanksgiving parade in the United States with America's Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit (both parades being four years younger than Philadelphia's Thanksgiving Day Parade).
The two-hour parade is held in Manhattan from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Thanksgiving Day, and has been televised nationally on NBC since 1952. Employees at Macy's department stores have the option of marching in the parade
The 46th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade telecast live from New York City.
Hosts; Lorne Green and Betty White who have co-hosted The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from 1963-1972.
Scheduled to be in the parade and perform are Bill Anderson, The Dance Theater of Harlem, The World of Walt Disney, Donna Fargo, Jody Miller, John Raitt, Rockettes, West Point Glee Club.
Joe Garagiola opens the broadcast congratulating Lorne Green and Betty White on their tenth consecutive appearance co-hosting the parade. Also noted that this telecast marks the 25th time, since 1945, that NBC Television has broadcast the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, either locally or nationally. From 1942 to 1944 the Parade was cancelled during World War 2.
It should come as no surprise that many of the telecasts from the 1950s thru the early 1970's are lost, or not known to presently exist in any broadcast form, and only TWO pre-1980 parade exists in full. One archived segment of the November 22, 1973 NBC MACY's THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE resides at The Paley Center for Media, and a segment of the November 26, 1959 CBS coverage of the THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE is archived at The Paley Center for Media. Not one pre-1980 TV Thanksgiving Day Parade is archived by The Library of Congress or by UCLA Film & Television Archive.
Network broadcast Kinescopes and Video were either discarded, wiped, or never recorded. Video recording software (3/4" U-Matic) was first released to the Public at great cost in 1971, and the Betamax (1975) and JVC VHS (1976) gave the public a means to record television broadcasts off the air, but, to date, it seems nobody at home elected to record a complete parade and kept it making the 1971-1979 parades more likely to be found possibly only as clips than the 1952-1971 parades. Certain footage from old telecasts has been shown in anniversary specials, showing that some still exist. Bootleg copies circa 1980 to the present have been posted on You Tube...most all playback reflecting poor to fair quality till the 2000's.
During the first television years, the parade went through changes. Many of the parade's most iconic balloons were introduced in this period, such as Popeye, Bullwinkle, the Happy Dragon, Underdog, Smokey Bear, Linus the Lionhearted, Sinclair's Dino, and the first two Snoopy balloons. The toy float concept was introduced in the 1960s, with a turkey-shaped one, introduced in 1973, eventually becoming parade mascot Tom Turkey.
A few notable lost parades include the 1956 parade (when Mighty Mouse crashed at Herald Square), 1965 (the debut of Underdog), and 1971 (when all the balloons had to be removed due to bad weather).
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (partially found NBC broadcasts of parade; 1953-1980)
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is an annual event held in New York City every Thanksgiving Day. The Parade was founded in 1924 as a Christmas pageant by Macy's immigrant employees who wanted to celebrate the holiday, akin to parades held for special occasions in Europe. The Parade is perhaps best known for its iconic helium balloons that depict characters from pop culture such as cartoon characters, brand mascots, and original Macy's characters.
Since 1953, NBC has held the telecast rights to the Parade prior to this, CBS broadcasted the Parade. NBC's broadcast of the Parade traditionally lasts three hours, with the first hour dedicated to performances by Broadway musicals and the Parade progressing to the finish line. The other two hours consist of the Parade itself, which features giant balloons, floats, cultural performances, celebrity appearances, and musical/talent ensembles. The Parade ends with Santa Claus riding on his own float, signaling the unofficial arrival of the holiday season.
Hosts of the NBC telecast have included such personalities as Lorne Greene, Betty White (from 1963 to 1972), Kent McCord, Martin Milner (1973), Ed McMahon (from 1974 to 1981), Helen Reddy (1975), Bryant Gumbel (from 1977 to 1980 and 1982 to 1984).
Out of the 28 Parade broadcasts that aired on NBC between 1953 and 1980, only two (1959 & 1976) of them have surfaced in full. Video recording equipment was not readily available to the general public until 1971, meaning the 1953-1970 broadcasts have a lower chance of being found than the 1971-1980 broadcasts. Clips from various pre-1980 telecasts have been used in Parade anniversary specials produced by NBC, meaning at least parts of the broadcasts remain in the NBC archives.
Notably lost parades include the 1956 Parade (when all balloons succumbed to blustery winds, with Mighty Mouse crashing in front of NBC cameras), 1960 (the debut of the Happy Dragon, Macy's longest-running singular balloon to date) and 1971 (when all the balloons had to be removed due to heavy winds and rain).
Status List of Parades recorded (Kinescope/Video Tape/ Audio).
# Year Status Notes
01 1953 Lost
02 1954 Lost
03 1955 Lost
04 1956 Lost
05 1957 Lost Phil Gries founder of Archival Television Audio, Inc. filmed two minutes of color 8mm film at the parade capturing images of Bill "Hopalong Cassidy" Boyd riding his horse Topper, the debut of the Popeye Balloon, and the Turkey Balloon, and the Soldier Balloon.
06 1958 Partially Found. Clips of the Spaceman balloon exist, and Phil Gries founder of Archival Television Audio, Inc. filmed three minutes of 8mm color film at the parade capturing images of actor George Montgomery on horseback, Benny Goodman and band float, and the Spaceman balloon navigated by crane (helium-in-flated balloons this one year was not used because the government missile program caused a cutback in helium supplies for civilian use),
07 1959 Found (Complete Kinescope)
08 1960 Lost
09 1961 Partially Found
A clip of one of the Marching Bands exist online. Partially Found Footage of Donald Duck was used as part of a special in 2011 and footage of Bullwinkle was used in 2016.
10 1962 Audio of the final five minutes ending including arrival of Santa Claus and sign off is archived in the collection of Archival Television Audio, Inc.
11 1963 Partially Found. Footage of the start was used as part of a special in 2011.
12 1964 Partially Found
13 1965 Partially Found. Footage of the Dino balloon and the Monroe Girls Corp exist online and can be viewed on You Tube and on Facebook.
14 1966 Audio Exists of the complete parade archived in
the collection of Archival Television audio, Inc. (two hours).
15 1967 Partially Found Audio of the Carlisle High School Marching Band and the first few seconds of The Happening's performance on the "Rock Candy Mountain" float exists on You Tube.
16 1968 Lost
17 1969 Partially Found Footage of the Broadway cast of Jimmy Performing exists, as does the complete audio air check archived in the collection of Archival Television Audio, Inc. (two hours).
18 1970 Partially Found Stills of Dino and Donald Duck exist.
19 1971 Partially Found.
20 1972 The complete audio air check of the parade is archived in the collection of Archival Television Audio, Inc. (two hours).
21 1973 The complete audio air check of the parade is archived in the collection of Archival Television Audio, Inc. (two hours).
22 1974 Partially Found
23 1975 Partially Found Audio of the Christian County High School Band exists on YouTube.
24 1976 Found, and the complete Audio Audio Air Check is archived in the collection of Archival Television Audio, Inc.
25 1977 The complete 173 minute TV Audio Air Check is archived in the collection of Archival Television Audio, Inc. (Partial NBC and CBS television broadcasts audio recoded as broadcast simultaneously).
26 1978 Partially Found CBS' unofficial airing of the
Parade is found; however, NBC's broadcast remains lost.
27 1979 Partially Found.
28 1980 Partially Lost. The majority of the 1980 Parade is found with approximately 30 minutes missing.
The 1959 Parade, the oldest surviving parade in full.
The 1976 Parade, the 2nd oldest surviving parade in full.
Parts of the 1972 Parade.
The intro, band performances and Santa Claus from the 1979 Parade.
Wrangler Belles performance from the 1971 parade.
Wrangler Belles performance from the 1973 parade.
Wrangler Belles performance from the 1977 parade and longer introduction to the 1977 Parade.
The Broadway Cast of Jimmy Performing "The Mayor of New York" in 1969.
Diana Ross's famous appearance in 1979.
Sinclair's Dino in the 1965 Parade.
The Village People performance in 1978.
Tom Turkey, known in 1974 as the Toy Turkey, makes his second appearance.
The Patriot Band performance in 1978.
The Independence High School 76th Cavalry Band in 1978.
The Salem High School Marching Band performance and Santa Claus in 1977.
Mason Reese performance in 1975.
The Dover High School Tornado Band performance in 1972.
The Ohio Youth Choir in 1975
Audio of the Christian County High School Marching Colonels performance in 1975.
The Spring Branch Sr. High School Marching Band performance in 1974.
The Spring Branch Bruin Brigade performance in 1974.
Audio of the Carlisle High School Marching Band performance in 1967.
Short silent clips of the 1966 Parade.