280 AD 345 or 352 AD 400 AD 540 AD 600 AD 800-900 AD 842 AD 987 AD 1000 AD
1087 AD 1200 AD 1300 AD 1400 AD 1492 AD 1500 AD
1517 AD 1587 AD 1600 AD 1626 AD 1644 AD 1650's AD 1660 AD 1659-1681 AD 1662 AD 1663-65 AD 1686 AD 1690-1700 AD
1731 AD 1773 AD 1776 AD 1809 AD
1810 AD 1816 AD 1820 AD 1821 AD 1823 AD 1824 AD 1825 ish AD 1828 AD 1829 AD 1830-31 AD 1836 AD 1841 AD 1842 AD 1843 AD 1845 AD 1848 AD 1860 AD
1863 AD 1870's AD 1892 AD 1897 AD 1902-03 AD 1920 AD 1924 AD 1931 AD 1934 AD 1935 AD 1938 AD 1939 AD 1941 ish AD 1942 AD 1946 AD 1947 ish AD 1950 AD
1951 AD 1953 AD 1954 AD 1956 AD 1957 AD 1958 AD 1962 AD 1964 AD 1966 AD 1968 AD 1969 AD 1970 AD 1984 AD 1986 AD 1988 AD 1989 AD 1990 AD 1991 AD 1994 AD 1995 AD 1996 AD 1997 AD 1998+ AD 2000 AD

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
November 27, 1924 -
The Macy's advertisement as it appeared in the New York Herald Tribune pronouncing the start of an American tradition.
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade ™ History
On November 27, 1924, the first Macy’s Christmas Parade stepped off from Convent Avenue and 145th Street in New York City. Four hundred employees accompanied by scores of animals, from camels to elephants, with bands, balloons, and floats in tow, took to the streets to begin an American holiday tradition that has become a part of our lives and a piece of Americana.

Conceived by Macy’s employees, many of whom were European immigrants, the Parade was a celebration of the Christmas season rooted in the traditional festivals of their homelands.

In that spirit, Herbert Strauss, President of R.H. Macy & Co., took out newspaper ads which promised "a surprise New York will never forget!"

An estimated quarter million spectators witnessed this auspicious event as the parade wound its way down to Macy’s Herald Square for Santa Claus’ unveiling of Macy’s Christmas windows on 34th Street.

For 75 years, the words "Let’s Have a Parade!" have continued to stir the emotions of millions of people across the country and around the world

1927 Macy’s asks theatrical designer and creator of Macy’s Christmas windows, Tony Sarg, to design giant balloons which would become the signature pieces of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Filled with helium, Sarg’s first designs – Felix the Cat, the Dragon, the Elephant, and the Toy Solider – are a huge success. Those first balloons would explode upon release, as their creators had forgotten that helium expands at high altitudes.

1928 Macy’s experiments with an air and helium mixture that is used to this day. That same year sees another first: at the end of the parade, the balloons are released into the air as a fitting climax.

1929 Balloons, including the Dachshund, are equipped with a return address and an offer of a prize. In following years, the Dachshund Balloon lands in the East River, and two tugs race madly for the prize, tearing it to pieces in the process.

1931 Clarence Chamberlain, an aviator flying above New York City, catches the Pig Balloon in midair in an effort to collect the reward money. The following year, an aviator almost crashes into Broadway in an attempt to catch the Cat Balloon.

After a few close calls, the practice of releasing the balloons is stopped in the interest of public safety.

1930s Celebrities, such as Benny Goodman and Harpo Marx, join in the Thanksgiving Day festivities.

1934 Tony Sarg and Walt Disney create balloons including Mickey Mouse, the Big Bad Wolf, the Little Pig, and Pluto.

1939 Children’s comic book favorites, including Superman, are introduced, paving the way for pop culture icons to be incorporated into the parade.

1950s Stars including Jackie Gleason, Shirley Temple, and Jimmy Durante, join the parade.

1955 The pParade telecast moves to NBC after a two-year stint with CBS. Macy’s and NBC have enjoyed a broadcast relationship ever since.

1957 Popeye the Sailorman sails into the parade.

1958 Air-filled balloons are brought down the parade route on cranes due to a helium shortage.

1962 The first year the Parade featured sports champions, including Willie Mays, Otto Graham, Jack Dempsey, and Ralph Terry.

1963 The Elsie the Cow Balloon heralds the arrival of the World’s Fair in Queens, New York. Also this year: The parade marches on as floats are draped in black the week following the assassination of President Kennedy.

1969 Macy’s Parade Studio moves to its current home in Hoboken, NJ, in the former Tootsie Roll factory.

1960s Lorne Greene and Betty White host the telecast from 1962 to71. In 1962, Tony Bennett first appears and will return in 2001.

1975 The Dino the Dinosaur Balloon is inducted into the American Museum of Natural History as an honorary member.

1977 "Parade Lady" Jean McFaddin, who will become a 24-year Macy’s veteran, takes the helm of the parade.

1970s Carson sidekick Ed McMahon co-hosts from 1971 to 1981.

1986 Sesame Street’s Big Bird flies for the first time in the parade. In 2001, a brand-new Big Bird Balloon was introduced.

1989 The parade takes to the street despite its first snow storm.

1980s Diana Ross and Sammy Davis, Jr. are just two of the celebrities from the film, television, and music worlds to join the fun.

1993 Sonic the Hedgehog Balloon introduces the first video game character to the line up.

1996 Rugrats becomes the parade’s first three-character balloon.

1999 Ask Jeeves becomes the first Internet-inspired character.

1990s Pop and country stars such as Shania Twain and NSYNC take center stage.

2000 The Parade welcomes "Bandleader Mickey" – the third time the beloved Mickey Mouse has made an appearance.

2001 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade celebrates 75 years of making magic for the holidays!


This time line document in no way reflects or represents any policy or position of any individual or organization in any way connected to the project.