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Diamond Jubilee of Tournament of Roses in Pasadena

Jan. 1, 1964 - The diamond jubilee Tournament of Roses unfolded today for a million and a half spectators, contrasting floral elegance with two touching tributes to President Kennedy. Another 80 million watched the spectacle on television. The temperature in Pasadena, Calif., was in the 70s as 62 floats decked with every conceivable type of flower, smartly-stepping bands, and equestrian units moved along the five-mile parade route under a clear, smog-free sky. At the head of the parade was a car carrying former President Eisenhower, the Tournament of Roses marshal, and his wife. Obviously enjoying the occasion, Ike extended both arms in his familiar acknowledgement of the crowd’s salutes. Distinguished participants included U.S. Chief Justice Earl Warren, astronaut John Glenn, Governor Edmund G. Brown of California, and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield.

The effects of the push for civil rights were clearly shown in the Parade — not only with the first Negro float in history — the Centennial Rose Parade Committee float — but also the inclusion of several Negroes as participants on other floats. More than 35 persons required hospital treatment after collapsing along the parade route. Many had waited all night to have a place. Some latecomers paid up to $7.50 for a viewing spot. The sweepstakes award for the most beautiful parade entry went to Long Beach, Calif., for “Diamond Jubilees.” The brilliant float consisted of a huge cut diamond of flowers slowly revolving on a spreading bed of pink camellias with a background of white chrysanthemums. Later, Illinois defeated Washington in the 50th Rose Bowl game, 17-7. Washington fullback Mike Kuklenski suffered a broken leg and quarterback Bill Douglas sustained a dislocated knee in the contest. Kuklenski was hospitalized, but Douglas was wheeled back to the sidelines to watch the second half of the contest.


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