How The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons Looked in 1936 – Snapshots Taken From Broadway & 92nd Street
The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was held in 1924. In 1928 helium filled balloons made their first appearance. By the early 1930’s over one million people were attending the parade.
The Thanksgiving Day Parade held on November 26, 1936 was quite a different affair than it is today.
At 1 pm on 110th Street near the south wall of The Church of St. John the Divine just off of Amsterdam Avenue, the paraders and balloons lined up and made their way west to Broadway. The parade route then remained on Broadway for its entire length until it reached Herald Square. There were 2,311 policemen assigned special parade duty along the route, with mounted men to lead the march and bring up the rear. As incredible as this may seem, on the main crosstown arteries of 34th, 42nd and 59th streets, traffic was let through, even if it meant temporarily halting the parade.