Friday, November 27, 2015

Depatment* (for Department*)

The first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, in New York City, was held on this day in 1924. That makes it a holiday event of rather long standing (long marching?), but in fact it's four years younger than the Gimbels Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia, which began in 1920 and has been held continuously ever since. (After Gimbels closed up shop in 1987, several other corporate sponsors have taken it over.) The Macy's parade is actually the same age as America's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit, which is sponsored by Hudson's—or as it's now known, Marshall Fields. I suppose the real reason department stores are so interested in Thanksgiving is that it's only a few weeks before Christmas and hosting a parade is probably seen as a good way to encourage sales. Except for the fact that very few folks (one would hope) are actually into shopping on Thanksgiving Day. Until recently, that is, when "Black Friday" got greedily bumped up to Thursday. It may be a little too pat to point this out, but some people would seem to be more thankful for a discount right about now than for pretty much anything else. We counted 18 cases of today's typo in OhioLINK, and 589 in WorldCat.

(Small children gazing through Macy's toy window, New York City, between 1908 and 1917, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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