Broadway: Bowling Green and Ticker Tape Parades

 

New York’s famed Broadway starts at Bowling Green, the city’s oldest park. It was here, on July 9, 1776, where the Sons of Freedom, in an act of defiance against England, took down the statue of King George III and sawed off the finials from the fence – the saw marks which are still visible today. Bowling Green is also where New York’s ticker tape parades begin, all of which Manhattan’s Downtown Alliance has documented by imbedding granite slabs into the sidewalk. The first parade was impromptu – a collection of people going up Broadway after the dedication of the Statue of Liberty. There were another six parades over the next 35 years…27 parades in the 1920s…17 in the 1930s…22 in the 1940s (all after the end of World War II in 1945)…A whopping 62 in the 1950s…32 in the 1960s…And 20 over the past 42 years, many of which were sports-related. It is actually an interesting exercise to review the list of these ticker tape parades, especially to note how these celebrations have transformed from a focus on politics to that of sports. It is the very apolitical nature of the more recent parades that might indicate how unlikely it is that the current statue in Bowling Green will be taken down any time soon.

Wall Street’s Bull at Bowling Green