Friday, May 4, 2012

The 1946 Tournament of Roses Parade

The 57th Tournament of Roses Queen and her Royal Court
The 1946 Tournament of Roses was the first to be held following the end of World War II and the event's centerpiece parade garnered a extraordinarily large amount of attention and participation.

Admiral William F "Bull" Halsey was the grand marshall of the parade which was comprise of more than 50 floats. Officials said the crowds that descended on Pasadena to see the parade were the largest in the history of the event.

1946 Tournament of Roses
Queen Patricia Auman
The Rose Queen was Patricia Auman, a 17-year-old student at Pasadena Junior College. After her year-long duties concluded, Auman chose to attend Stanford rather than pursue a movie career like many other Rose Queens.

Years later, when interviewed by the Los Angeles Times, she said she greatly enjoyed the experience but had resevations about what it meant and the commercialization of the event.

“While the tournament has always stressed it wasn’t a beauty contest I don’t like the emphasis on looks," she told the paper in 1979. "I wish they would do away with it entirely or combine it with achievement; what a person is, now how they look."

Alabama defeated the University of Southern California 34-13 in the 1946 Rose Bowl, the final appearance of the Crimson Tide in the New Year's Day classic.

The color photograph above was taken by Huntington Park resident O.W. Sjogren. Several of his shots of this Rose parade and a few others have recently been uploaded onto Flickr.