It doesn’t seem like New Year’s Day without watching the Rose Parade in the morning and the Rose Bowl game in the afternoon—at least on television. It will be especially exciting for all of us at Public Storage to see our first company float travel down the Colorado Boulevard parade route in Pasadena on January 1—with three friendly “space” aliens on board.
The parade that we’ll be participating in and the game we’ll be watching will be very different, however, from their more humble beginnings. The first Tournament of Roses parade was held in 1890 by the prestigious Valley Hunt Club as just one of many mid-winter holiday events promoting Pasadena. That historic Pasadena club is still around though the parade has grown over the years from the first event of horse–drawn carriages decorated with flowers. The photo above is of the 1917 horse–drawn float promoting the local Raymond Hotel, which was later torn down.
The image below is of singer Dinah Shore on the 1956 float. Her $1,000 dress was damaged by the float’s heater, according to a newspaper at the time.
The Rose Parade picture below shows what the parade and Pasadena looked like in 1925.
The First Rose Bowl Game, then called the Tournament of Roses Game, kicked off in 1902 in Tournament Park between Stanford and Michigan. It was the first post–season matchup in the country. In the 1922 showdown below, the gear and the play were still very different than they are today. Neither team scored in that competition between UC Berkeley and Washington & Jefferson College.
The Rose Bowl game eventually became the first to be nationally telecast in 1952 and the first college football game to be telecast in color coast to coast. Earlier game results were communicated using Morse code.
In the 1948 game below, you can see the old Rose Bowl in the background, before many remodels and expansions, as the Michigan Wolverines defeat the USC Trojans 49 to 0.
Do you want to learn more about the Rose Parade or Rose Bowl Game? Learn more from the Tournament of Roses, which succeeds at the mammoth task of orchestrating both each year. A special thanks to that organization for supplying images and information for this post.
by Ann Griffith