All along Broadway in Lower Manhattan remains historic markers for each parade that took place over the years. These plaques are inlaid into the sidewalks on either side of New York’s most famous avenue: Broadway. The first parade took place in October 1886, and the most recent in July 2019.
Ticker tape machines used ticker tape inside it to relay stock market prices.. Every office in Wall Street had a few of these machines. When Lower Manhattan unveiled The Statue of Liberty in October 1886, the parade had celebrated by marching up Broadway. Stockbrokers even filled many of the offices along Broadway. As the parade passed underneath their windows, stock brokers ripped some of the ticker tape off and threw it out their windows onto the parade. It came down from the buildings like confetti. The ticker tape parade was born.
The mayor of New York City gets to decide who to honor with a ticker tape parade. To celebrate important events New York held Ticker tape parades. The parades were for events such as the first landing on the moon, the end of World War II or visiting dignitaries. In the 1950s, these parades were particularly commonplace. In 1951 and 1962, there were 9 parades each year. 1949, 1954 and 1959 each boasted 8 parades. Sometimes the Mayor separated parades by as few as 3 or 4 days! Here is a great video of a 1962 ticker tape parade honoring astronaut John Glenn:
The ticker tape machine was replaced decades ago with the digital stock ticker. The old machines, along with their tape, are now extremely rare. Although we still hold the parades on Broadway, spectators at modern parades no longer have access to large quantities of the ticker tape. A few resourceful people in offices along Broadway find confetti to throw onto the parade. Mostly, however, the crowds throw toilet paper rolls and newspapers.