Welcome to Flappers & Jelly Beans!
To get in the mood for the release of my romantic mystery set in the Roaring 20s, I’ll be posting on Tuesdays some facts, trivia, and slang from that fabulous frivolous decade.
But before we begin with that, here’s the answer to Sunday’s Guess That Title challenge:
New York City, 1924…
A jaded homicide detective is torn between a seductive old flame and a bright new attraction when he joins with an ambitious girl reporter to solve the Central Park murder of a notorious bootlegger in 1920s Manhattan.
- The Rumrunner
- It Had to Be You
- His Girl, Trixie
- Goodbye, Johnny Blue Eyes
And the title is… IT HAD TO BE YOU. 🙂
A Holiday “Flappers and Jelly Beans” Tidbit
Think the trend for pushing the winter holiday shopping season on consumers earlier each year is a modern phenomenon? Think again.
The opening scene of It Had to Be You takes place in Herald Square in New York City on Thursday, November 27, 1924.
It was Thanksgiving day and the first year R.H. Macy’s sponsored its Thanksgiving day parade. Except they didn’t call it that back then. They called it Macy’s Christmas Parade.
Here’s a peek back in time from the following day’s papers:
“Santa Claus chose Thanksgiving Day this year to come to town. With a retinue of clowns… animals, and floats, the bewhiskered man in red, in sight of thousands of persons, arrived at 9 o’clock yesterday morning and three hours later was crowned ‘King of the Kiddies’ on the marquee above the entrance to Macy’s new store in Thirty-fourth Street near Seventh Avenue…”
Most of the participants that day were Macy’s employees, but they were joined by many others, marching bands as well as floats featuring The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe and Little Red Riding Hood. There were also animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo—bears, elephants, donkeys.
But no giant balloons. Animal-shaped balloons made by Goodyear wouldn’t begin to replace the live animals until 1927. One of the first? Felix the Cat.
Another 1924 attraction that would feel familiar to us was the unveiling of Macy’s spectacular store window: “The Fairy Frolics of Wondertown.”
Some sources say a quarter million people attended the first parade. Whether that’s accurate or not, it was such a success that Macy’s decided to make it an annual event.
The world has changed, yes? But maybe not as much as we think. What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?
One of my favorite holiday movies is Miracle on 34th Street. Yep, it’s a Christmas movie, but it opens with the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, so it’s fair game to mention here.
If so inclined, click on the link below to hop on over to TCM to view a short clip from that Thanksgiving parade scene circa 1947 between Maureen O’Hara as Doris Walker and Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle. (Warning: Admission might be one 30 sec commercial.) Enjoy.
And for those who celebrate, have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 🙂
Uncredited cartoonist in employ of W. H. Fawcett publisher [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By unknown, published by Max B. Sheffer Card Co. (Chicago) (collect-auctions.com, direct link) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons