The History of Military Parades in the U.S.

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●  How CBS News reported the last national military parade in 1991 (CBS)

● The last time Washington hosted a military parade, it was a huge mess (Slate)

President Trump has spoken of his desire for a grand military parade since the early days of his presidency. During a January 18 meeting, he directed top generals to organize such a parade on the scale of France’s Bastille Day celebrations, reports Greg Jaffe and Philip Rucker for The Washington Post. This Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman Charlie Summers confirmed the U.S. Department of Defense is in the process of reviewing potential dates for a parade.

What would such a display look like? Military parades outside of holidays such as Veterans Day, the Fourth of July or Memorial Day aren’t typical in this country in recent decades, but there is a history of them.

Most recently, in 1991 more than 8,000 troops marched down Washington D.C.’s Constitution Avenue in a victory parade celebrating the end of the Persian Gulf War. Stealth fighter planes passed overhead while tanks and Patriot missiles rolled by a crowd of 200,000, according to William J. Eaton and Beth Hawkins of the Los Angeles Times. The attendance was below the 1 million-plus spectators predicted to turn out to view the $12 million event. But by that evening’s fireworks display, the turnout swelled to 800,000.

Read entire article at Smithsonian

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