David Matthews
Wikipedia Commons

This Friday, New York City will throw its 206th ticker-tape parade, in honor of the U.S. women's national team's victory in the World Cup.

Everyone agrees that this parade is a good thing, and very much deserved. They're the world champs! Shut down the streets, queue up the Queen song, and ready the confetti bazooka! We won!


Not every recipient of a New York parade in the past 130 years has been so deserving, however. We went back through the history books and found these honorees who surely must have known someone high up in the Manhattan Parade Commissioner's Office. Presented in chronological order, here are 24 NYC parade recipients who maybe should have just gotten a medal or something.

1. Cmdr. Richard E. Byrd, Lt. George O. Noville, Bernt Balchen, and Bert Acosta for a transatlantic flight. (July 18, 1927)

Back in 1927, flying across the Atlantic Ocean was a big deal, sure. But this parade occurred just a month after the city threw an identical parade for Charles Lindbergh, who had just flown across the Atlantic by himself.

(Fun bonus: This is the second of three parades the city threw for Admiral Byrd—he must've really had connections.)


2. Capt. Hermann Koehl, Maj. James Fitzmaurice and Baron Guenther Von Huenefeld, for the longest westward transatlantic flight. (April 30, 1928)


These gentlemen flew west and were forced to make an emergency landing on a Canadian island so naturally we threw them a parade!

3. Henry Lewis Stimson, Secretary of State, and U.S. delegates returning from the London naval disarmament conference (April 29, 1930)

This one might have made sense at the time; in hindsight, not so much. The treaty modifications would be renounced before the decade was over. At least they got a parade out of it, though!


4. Marquis Jacques De Dampierre and family, descendants of the Marquis De Lafayette, passengers on the maiden voyage of the French ocean liner Lafayette (May 26, 1930)

"Seriously, thanks for your ancestor!"

5. Olin J. Stephens Jr. and the crew of the Dorade, winners of a transatlantic yacht race from Newport, R.I., to Plymouth, England (September 2, 1931)

Really, in those days it was "Go to England, come back, and enjoy your parade." These guys got their parade for a yacht race. A yacht race!


6. Pierre Laval, Premier of France (October 22, 1931)

7. Henri Philippe Pétain, Marshal of France (October 26, 1931)

The Premier of France came on October 22 and he got a parade. The Marshal of France came four days later, and he got ANOTHER parade. Really had to stagger these two, huh?


8. Pilots Amy Johnson and Capt. James A. Mollison, the first married couple to fly the Atlantic (August 1, 1933)


We yearn for the days when we had more husband-and-wife teams doing stunts.

9. Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan for his flight from New York to Ireland instead of his “intended” destination of California (August 5, 1938)


This man was a folk hero –– attempting to fly from Brooklyn to California, he accidentally went across the Atlantic and landed in Ireland. Actually, you should have a parade thrown in your honor for screwing up so badly. We are only including him because the Post's headline was so good.


10. Col. Clarence S. Irvine, Commander of the B29 Dreamboat, and his crew of Army airmen for their Honolulu-to-Cairo flight over the North Pole (October 25, 1946)

This image was lost some time after publication.

The sheer number of parades given for records and achievements that were broken or made for the sake of breaking or making them is sort of staggering. "It's the first flight from Akron to Tallahassee. Start printing the ticker-tape!!!"

11. Officers and crew of the French warship Georges Leygues for bringing rare French tapestries for exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (November 5, 1947)

This image was lost some time after publication.

Couldn't the Dreamboat guys have picked up the tapestries on their way back from Cairo?

Still, great exhibit.

12. Friendship train bearing gifts and supplies from the United States to Europe (November 18, 1947)

This image was lost some time after publication.

This was a parade to salute Americans' willingness to donate supplies to post-war France. Maybe instead of the parade they could have spent the money on…more supplies? I don't know. We should start doing Friendship Trains again, though.

13. French gratitude train ("Merci Train") bearing gift from France to the United States in appreciation of the friendship train (February 3, 1949)


"Thanks for the train. Here's a train!"

We re-gifted this thing to Canada a couple years later, they had no idea.

14. Connie Mack on his 50th year as Manager of the Philadelphia Athletics baseball team (August 19, 1949)

A parade for a Philly guy? What were they thinking?

15. Forty-eight European journalists in celebration of Freedom of the Press Day during their U.S. tour (September 16, 1949)

16. Raymond A. Garbarina Memorial Post 1523 for winning the American Legion Drum and Bugle Corps National Championship (October 4, 1949)

Not that much was happening in 1949.

17. Ten foreign mayors attending the 18th annual U.S. Conference of Mayors (May 10, 1950)

18. William O'Dwyer upon his resignation as Mayor of New York City (August 31, 1950)

19. Mayors of 250 cities attending the 20th annual U.S. Conference of Mayors (May 14, 1952)

Mayors meeting mayors! Mayors quitting being mayors! New York City, baby!

20. New York Giants, National League champions (September 27, 1954)

New York couldn't even wait the four games it took for them to actually win the World Series? This seems like a case of premature parade-throwing.


21. Capt. Alan J. Villiers and the crew of the replica ship Mayflower II (July 2, 1957)


Surely by the now the public would have had enough with the transatlantic parades.

22. Van Cliburn, first winner of Moscow's International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition (May 20, 1958)


The U.S. battled with the Soviet Union over everything during the Cold War, so much so that the winner of a piano competition earned a parade.

23. New York Mets, new National League baseball team (April 12, 1962)


That team opened the season with nine straight losses and finished 40-120. They would go own to get parades in 1969 and 1986 for actually, uh, winning something.

24. Sammy Sosa, Chicago Cubs baseball player, who tied the single-season home-run record (October 17, 1998)

Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Sammy Sosa didn't even hit the most home runs that year; Mark McGwire did. This would be like throwing a parade for –– well, for the Japanese women's soccer team. Sorry!

David Matthews operates the Wayback Machine on Fusion.net—hop on. Got a tip? Email him: david.matthews@fusion.net

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