Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tournament of Roses Parade Souvenir, 1927

I often find fold-out collections of postcards at estate sales, but I've only ever seen one collection of pictures from an old Tournament of Roses Parade.   (You do find these from time to time on eBay; they're not particularly valuable except in the most important way -- they show us, literally, snapshots in time.)

This souvenir of the Rose Parade dates to 1927.   Anticipating watching this year's Parade, I thought it would be fun to look at what the Parade floats looked like in 1927.  Exploring the history of the 1927 Tournament of Roses, I discovered some interesting facts.

A Pasadena physician, Dr. Charles D. Lockwood, was Grand Marshal of the Parade in 1927.  A notation on provides us with information about him:

Dr. Charles Lockwood was a physican and surgeon and Chief of Staff at the Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, California. In 1916, anticipating [US entry into] World War I, he organized the first Ambulance Corps in the country with his own money. He established base hospitals directly behind the front lines and performed up to 50 operations per day....  He was Grand Marshal, twice, of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses.   

Interestingly, the Pasadena Convention and Visitors Authority notes that there was "no queen" of the Parade in 1927.  

The theme of the 1927 Tournament of Roses Parade was "Songs in Flowers."  Most of the photos don't show song titles.  Here are a few of the pictures:

City of Pomona parade entry

City of Pasadena parade entry

The Salvation Army's entry did show a song title, "Abide With Me."

Salvation Army parade entry, "Abide With Me."
Thank goodness for the archivists at British Pathe'.  They have preserved black and white film footage of the 1927 Rose Parade:

An eyewitness account of the 1927 Rose Parade has been thoughtfully shared on this blog.  The writer called it "most beautiful."

Of course you can't talk about the Tournament of Roses Parade without a mention of the Rose Bowl college football game.  

There's a picture of the gorgeous cover of the 1927 Rose Bowl program online:

Sports historians note that the Rose Bowl that year, between Stanford (10-0) and Alabama (9-0), ended in a 7-7 tie -- the only time the Rose Bowl did not have a winner.

That game was notable for many other reasons.  Stanford was coached that year by a gentleman named Glenn S. "Pop" Warner.  

Radio was becoming an increasingly important form of entertainment for Americans back then. Indeed, 1927 marked the first national broadcast of the Rose Bowl, by NBC.   

History also notes that a 13-year-old boy in rural Arkansas listened to that historic broadcast of the 1927 contest. He decided that football was so exciting, his goal was to go to Alabama and play in the Rose Bowl.

His name was Paul W. Bryant.

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