The history of ticker tape parades (1886)

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Saturday, 28 October 2017

1886 -

Today in 1886 the first spontaneous ticker tape parade was held in New York City. The city celebrated the dedication of the Statue of Liberty. Employees in the offices wanted to take part in the celebrations and threw out their tickertape.

Tickertape was the paper strip, left over from the ticker tape machines used in offices. It is named after the sound the machines made. These machines constantly printed the latest news. The technology became unnecessary since the 1960s, when televisions and phones brought financial news to the offices. The ticker tape in parades was replaced by shredded office paper and confetti.

3000 tons of paper
The authorities realized the utility of the celebrations and decided to use it from 1886 onward on triumphal occasions. The first person that was honored with a ticker tape parade (1899) was Admiral Dewey, hero of the battle of Manily Bay. But the biggest one ever held was in honour of General MacArthur. He was being removed from command by president Truman, but he still received a parade. It extended over 19 miles of Manhattan and drew over 7 million visitors. More than 3000 tons of paper was used.

360 trivial fact
Nowadays ticker tape parades are more infrequently and mostly associated with New York sports teams. But there has been only one women’s sport team that had its own parade. The United States women’s national soccer team. It won its third FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015.


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