Home Movie: America on Parade – March 1976

This silent film presents about nine minutes of America On Parade, which ran at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom from June 1975 through September 1976. The parade celebrated the United States Bicentennial. Tall doll-like characters representing the “People of America” accompany the many floats depicting American history, spanning eras from the voyage of Columbus through the 20th Century. Our vantage point for the parade is in Liberty Square near the end of the bridge leading from the hub.

Mickey, Goofy and Donald lead the parade. Behind them we see Christopher Columbus commanding one of his ships on the voyage to discover the New World. Shifting forward in time, we see a giant turkey being led along by Pilgrims, followed by a float that gives us a glimpse of Colonial-era discipline techniques. After that, helpful neighbors dance during a break from building a house, and then we see Benjamin Franklin on a rooftop experimenting with electricity. Revolutionary soldiers march by with the Liberty Bell and a pair of cannons, followed by Betsy Ross in a tall rocking chair sewing a giant Stars and Stripes flag for the new nation.

Moving into the frontier era, a settler family drives their covered wagon past us. A drifting flatboat is followed by a large steam-powered riverboat, which is uniquely portrayed in the parade as a leading float with the bow and pilot house, many passengers in elegant gold costumes walking along the “top deck”, and a trailing paddlewheel float. Old West expansion and exploration come into view next with a stage coach and businesses from a mining town. We then see the Golden Spike ceremony to celebrate the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Entering the 20th Century, Suffragettes walk by, followed by an early-century town scene. A series of popular new leisure activities, foods, and new inventions pass by. The next several floats remind us of advances in transportation technology, such as ships, automobiles, airplance, steam locomotives and even rocketry. Next, several recent and classic Disney characters pass by on a record player and film-shaped floats. Dumbo’s circus stands out prominently in this section of the parade.

A closing patriotic finale is up next. Several floats with state flags carry Pluto and characters from Robin Hood. Positioned among these floats is a marching band, which appears to be from Maiden, North Carolina. Finally we see a giant eagle float, with Lady Liberty on the front and Uncle Sam on the rear.

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July 15, 2019 11:55 am

Wow the world was much simpler then and my parents were young and thriving back then!! I love it thank you!!’

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