Tournament of Roses History Timeline
First Parade and Games. The members of the Valley Hunt Club voted to stage, on January 1, 1890, a parade of flower-decorated horse-and-buggies and an afternoon of public games on the “town lot” east of Los Robles between Colorado and Santa Fe. The parade was to be an American version of the festival of roses in Nice, France. Following the parade, young men competed in a variety of foot races, tugs of war, jousts and a tourney of rings – an old Spanish game in which mounted horsemen, each carrying a 12-foot lance, try to spear three rings hung about 30 feet apart while riding at top speed. The tourney of rings, coupled with the floral displays prompted Professor Charles F. Holder, the first president, to say, “Now we have the name we want – The Tournament of Roses.” More than 2,000 people attended the first Tournament.
The Monrovia Town Band becomes the first musical group to perform in the Rose Parade.
Parade almost dubbed “Orange Tournament” when a severe winter storm causes a shortage of roses.
First year officials are faced with the dilemma of having a parade on Sunday, which would interfere with church services. Starting the festival a day later was the easy solution. The “Never on Sunday” tradition continues today.
First viewing stands are built along the parade route. First year that organizations enter floats in the Rose Parade. The Columbia Hill Tennis Club, the Valley Hunt Club and Hotel Raymond are among the entrants.
The Parade had become too big for the Valley Hunt Club to handle alone. At a public meeting, the Tournament of Roses Association is formed to produce the annual New Year’s Day festival. A public subscription campaign raised $595 to underwrite expenses of the 1896 Rose Parade. The first of ten times it rains on the Parade. Other years include 1899, 1906, 1910, 1916, 1922, 1934, 1937, 1955 and 2006.
First East Coast media coverage of the Rose Parade. Several large eastern newspapers came west for the parade for the first time.
The first motion pictures of the Rose Parade are produced by Vitascope Company. Even though it was screened days, weeks and even months later, this was the first time that the Rose Parade was seen “live” by audiences throughout the United States.
First year that motorized vehicles are allowed as float entries. At the time, there was little enthusiasm for the autos, which were forced to appear at the rear of the parade so as not to scare the horses.
First Rose Bowl Game played at Tournament Park (Caltech's current athletic field). University of Michigan routs Stanford University, 49-0. As the crowd of spectators arrived for the game, it soon became apparent that the 1,000 seats would not be enough. The mob of 8,500 created a stampede. No one was seriously injured, but due to the over-excitement of the crowd, as well as the lopsided score, football was abandoned on New Year's Day until 1916.
First chariot races staged, inspired in part by the best-selling book Ben-Hur. The chariot races, held at Tournament Park, continued until 1915, when it was decided that, while the event was indeed popular, it was far too dangerous and expensive.
First Rose Queen, Hallie Woods, reigns over New Year’s Day festivities. Miss Woods, chosen by her classmates at Pasadena High School, made her own gown and helped decorate the float upon which she rode. Parade held on Jan. 2.
Queen Elsie Armitage enjoys the largest Royal Court in Tournament of Roses history, with 24 princesses.
The era of spectacular floats was introduced when wires above the parade route had to be elevated to allow large floats to pass. These included a 41-foot whale that spouted carnation-scented perfume 25 feet in the air; an 86-foot orange; and a 35-foot airship.
Innovative float builder Isabella Coleman decorates her first float. Coleman went on to pioneer many of the techniques that give detail and animation to the floats.
Famous broadcaster C.P. Rodgers makes an epic flight from the Atlantic to Pasadena and flies over the entire parade route dropping rose petals.
First year Queen and King are chosen as officiating royalty. Ostrich races dominate New Year’s Day games. During one contest, an ostrich leaped toward the sidelines, stopped abruptly and threw its unlucky rider into the judges’ viewing stand. The man extracted himself from the knot of judges, bowed to the crowd and chased after the stubborn creature. First and only elephant-camel race held. With a little goading from its rider, the elephant won.
Second and last time a Queen and King are chosen as officiating royalty.
Football, and what would become known as the Rose Bowl Game, is reinstated at Tournament Park. Edith Wright is the first woman to pilot a float – Eagle Rock’s entry. Tournament of Roses co-founder Dr. Francis F. Rowland is named Grand Marshal for the seventh and final time. He retires from Tournament leadership.
Oregon defeats Pennsylvania, 14-0, in the first Rose Bowl Game win for the West. Hotels from Yokohama and Manila enter massive floral floats, marking the first international entries.
Patriotism becomes the first Rose Parade theme. Parade spectators number 250,000 – the largest crowd to date. They enjoy 86-degree weather on New Year’s Day.
The 31st Rose Parade marked the end of the horse-drawn era. Motor-driven floats, powered by electric and gasoline engines, took over completely.
Construction of the horseshoe-shaped stadium is completed with a seating capacity of 57,000 and is deeded to the city of Pasadena by the Tournament of Roses Association. Tournament volunteers raise $272,298 to fund the stadium. Parade and game held on Jan. 2.
The stadium is named “The Rose Bowl” and is dedicated hosting its first game. USC defeats Penn State, 14-3.
First year a Sweepstakes Prize is awarded to a float entry, Glendale’s “Fairyland.”
Legendary Four Horsemen from Notre Dame play in the Rose Bowl Game against Ernie Nevers of Stanford. Notre Dame wins, 27-10.
First local radio broadcast of the Rose Bowl Game, announced by Pasadena sportswriter and ex-Olympic track star Charlie Paddock. Fay Lanphier is named Rose Queen while also reigning as Miss America.
Czechoslovakia is the first foreign government to enter the parade. First national radio broadcast of Rose Bowl Game.
Rose Bowl Stadium enlarged by 19,000 seats, increasing capacity to 76,000. Events held on Jan. 2.
Isabella Coleman develops innovative float decorating technique – glues flowers on floats for the first time. Cal center Roy Riegels runs the wrong way with ball and is nicknamed “Wrong Way Riegels.” It becomes the most infamous play in Rose Bowl history. The 15th Rose Bowl Game ends with Georgia Tech beating Cal, 8-7.
Under new policy, San Francisco Mayor James “Sunny Jim” Rolph becomes first Grand Marshal chosen from outside Pasadena. Holly Halsted is the first Rose Queen selected under the new selection process. New guidelines downplay national prominence and instead emphasize the young ladies’ interest in the Tournament and their local residence.
Pasadena Junior College, now Pasadena City College, makes first appearance in parade as official Tournament Band.
Radio was on a coast-to-coast network basis, and movie houses throughout the country featured the parade during the first few months of the year, making Pasadena a major attraction.
First short-wave radio broadcast of the Rose Parade. The broadcast is heard internationally.
Mary Pickford becomes the first Hollywood celebrity and first woman to be chosen Grand Marshal. Parade and game held on Jan. 2.
Twelve inches of rain fall on Pasadena in the 48 hours prior to the Rose Parade, themed Tales of the Seven Seas.
Santa Barbara’s float presentation exemplifies technological progress: A floral depiction of seven peacocks that turned from side to side was operated by seven men inside the 65-foot-long float. They manipulated the moving birds and were in continual communication via built-in telephones.
The Rose Parade celebrates its 50th Anniversary. Grand Marshal Shirley Temple – the youngest GM ever – presides over the parade.
Richard and Pat Nixon enjoy their first date at the Duke vs. USC Rose Bowl Game. USC beats Duke, 7-3, with a famous come-from-behind touchdown drive as fourth-string quarterback Doyle Nave and second- string end “Antelope Al” Kreuger combine for four completed passes and a final 19-yard touchdown pass as time runs out.
The first telecast of a special event from the Tournament of Roses took place on station W6XAO of Los Angeles, with commentator Don Lee describing the January 1 evening preparations of the Royal Court. Parade and game held on Jan. 2.
Underdog Stanford surprises Nebraska by unveiling new wide-open offense, coined “T-formation,” to win the 27th Rose Bowl Game, 21-13.
The Tournament of Roses celebrates on a smaller scale due to World War II. For security reasons in the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Rose Bowl Game, featuring Duke vs. Oregon State, is played at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Oregon State won, 20-16.
World War II is over and the Tournament of Roses celebrates in grand style. Groundbreaking Rose Bowl Game agreement is signed between Pacific Coast (Pac-10) and Western (Big Ten) conferences. Modified in 1960, it is the oldest college football agreement between two major conferences in the United States.
First local telecast of the Rose Parade on W6XYZ, an experimental TV station that became KTLA three weeks later. Bill Welsh announces his first Rose Parade for the station a year later.
The Rose Bowl Game becomes the first bowl game to have 100,000 spectators in attendance. Parade and game are held on Jan. 2.
“Peggy,” the first Hollywood movie using the Tournament of Roses as a theme, was released. It starred Diana Lynn, Charles Coburn and Rock Hudson.
This year marked the introduction of color television in the U.S. as well as the first network telecast of the Parade. KTTV transmitted through microwave to KPIX, San Francisco.
William Wrigley, Jr. family gives Wrigley Mansion and Gardens to the city of Pasadena for use as the Tournament of Roses headquarters.
Rose Bowl Game becomes first college football game broadcast nationally in color.
Wisconsin quarterback Ron VanderKelen establishes Rose Bowl single-game records for pass attempts (48), pass completions (33), total yards passing (401).
Thanat Khoman, Thailand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, is the first foreign national to be named Grand Marshal. Parade and game held on Jan. 2.
First live international satellite feed of Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game to other parts of the world.
The Rose Bowl Game serves as the kickoff to the 100th anniversary of intercollegiate football.
Fresh from their trip to the moon, astronauts Charles Conrad, Richard Gordon and Alan Bean, the heroes of the Apollo 12 moon landing, led the parade as grand marshals.
Navajo Nation Band, of Window Rock, Arizona, is the first Native-American marching band to participate in the parade.
The Rose Parade is designated by the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration as the kickoff event of the Nation’s Bicentennial Celebration. A special prologue to the parade features the Third U.S. Infantry Regiment.
Heisman Trophy winner Charles White sets Rose Bowl Game record for most yards gained (247).
Michigan’s Don Bracken sets Rose Bowl Game record for longest punt (73 yards). First Japanese-American Rose Queen, Leslie Kawai, chosen to reign on New Year’s Day.
Washington’s Jacque Robinson becomes the first freshman to win Player of the Game honors.
Human-powered floats made a debut in the parade. Fifty-five people carried the Atlantic Richfield display of flags representing nations that were to compete in the 1984 Olympics. American Honda also had a human-powered float, an airplane-shaped 7,500-pound construction.
Ohio State’s Rich Spangler makes the longest field goal in Rose Bowl Game history (52 yards). The record was tied in 1986 by Iowa’s Rob Houghtlin. First African-American Rose Queen, Kristina Smith, chosen to reign on New Year’s Day.
The city of Pasadena celebrates its 100th birthday. American Honda’s “All the World Loves a Clown” sets a record for the tallest float ever in the Rose Parade at 62 feet.
President Reagan signs legislation making the rose America’s national flower. Tournament Vice President Harriman L. Cronk and 1986 Rose Queen Aimée Richelieu in attendance at ceremony.
First live network broadcast of the Rose Bowl Game in Spanish. First live broadcast of the Rose Parade to luxury cruise ships. First live radio broadcast of the Rose Parade from atop a moving float by radio personalities Ken and Bob of KABC-AM (Los Angeles).
Tournament of Roses celebrates its Centennial. Bill Welsh of KTTV-TV marks his 42nd Rose Parade broadcast. First 3-D broadcast of Rose Parade, on KTTV. Parade and game are held on Jan. 2.
Rose Bowl Hall of Fame is established, honoring outstanding individuals whose achievements have contributed to the success of the Rose Bowl Game. Howard Jones (USC), Woody Hayes (Ohio State), Jim Plunkett (Stanford) and Bump Elliott (Michigan) are the first inductees.
USC defeats Michigan, 17-10, in Bo Schembechler’s final game as head coach of the Wolverines. He has coached more teams (10) in the Rose Bowl Game than any other coach.
The Rose Bowl Stadium press box is renovated, increasing its seating capacity from approximately 330 to more than 1,200. The Rose Parade and edited clips of the Rose Bowl Game are broadcast via satellite to Russia and the newly formed Independent Republics for the first time.
University of Washington shares the national championship title with Miami after defeating Michigan in the Rose Bowl Game, 34-14.
The 105th Tournament of Roses Parade, themed Fantastic Adventure, was aired for the first time in its entirety to the People’s Republic of China, translated into both Cantonese and Mandarin. The Tournament of Roses commemorates 80 years of gridiron glory - The Granddaddy of Them All®.
The 50th anniversary of the Rose Bowl Game pact between the Pac-10 and Big Ten conferences and the Tournament of Roses is celebrated.
KTLA broadcasts its 50th Rose Parade (the longest running local broadcast of the Parade).
In a tribute to the 50th Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force, the B-2 Spirit, also known as the stealth bomber, flew over the 108th Tournament of Roses Parade.
Washington State returns to the Rose Bowl Game after 67 years. No.1-ranked Michigan defeats the WSU Cougars, 21-16. Michigan shares national championship with Nebraska.
First quadruple Grand Marshals in Rose Parade history. Actress/diplomat Shirley Temple Black, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, sports legend Jackie Robinson (posthumously) and film producer/documentarian David L. Wolper chosen to collectively represent the 20th century. Shirley Temple Black holds the honor of being the only Grand Marshal in Tournament of Roses history to have hosted America’s New Year celebration as both a child and an adult. She led the 50th Rose Parade in 1939 and the centennial celebration of the Rose Parade in 1989.
For the first time, the Tournament of Roses names a Grand Marshal posthumously. At the suggestion of Jackie Robinson’s widow, Rachel Robinson, his lifelong friend Ray Bartlett fulfills his duties as Grand Marshal.
Roy E. Disney (Walt Disney’s nephew) leads the 111th Tournament of Roses as the 2000 Grand Marshal, making him and Walt the first and only Grand Marshals in Tournament history who are in the same family.
Embarking on a yearlong, around-the world excursion, the Odyssey 2000 cyclists traveled along the boulevard en route to Mexico on New Year’s Day, the first day of their travels. Cyclists who successfully complete the global journey will return and participate in the 2001 Rose Parade.
For the first time in Tournament of Roses history, the parade steps off not with a traditional theme banner or a marching band or a float made of flowers, but with a “human theme banner” comprised entirely of people. Presented by The Walt Disney Company and designed by Stadium Stunts, this “Human Theme 2000 Banner” featured 2000 colorfully costumed Southern California high school students in a formation spelling out the parade theme, Celebration 2000. The shape and color of the unit changed on musical cue to read “Fantasia 2000,” the title of Disney’s newest animated feature film, which opened in IMAX theaters on January 1, 2000.
Making a welcomed return, the B-2 Spirit (also known as the stealth bomber) arrived from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to fly over the 111th Rose Parade in celebration of the millennium.
For the first time in Tournament of Roses history, the parade is intentionally stopped. The United States Army Golden Knights Paratroopers land on the parade route in front of the VFW float saluting Bob Hope. In an emotional moment which captured the patriotic theme of the Parade, Fabric of America, the paratroopers salute the Bob Hope float, and Mr. Hope – a two-time Rose Parade Grand Marshal – salutes back.
Triggered by the events of September 11, 2001, the Rose Parade begins with a special patriotic opening featuring Grand Marshal Regis Philbin, singer Martina McBride and flyovers by the Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornets and the U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit (also known as the stealth bomber.)
For the first time in history, the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game are held on different days as The Granddaddy of Them All hosts the National Championship Rose Bowl Game on January 3, 2002.
A trio of Grand Marshals – Bill Cosby, Art Linkletter, and Fred “Mister” Rogers – ushered in 2003 as the 114th Rose Parade celebrated Children’s Dreams, Wishes and Imagination. The 89th Rose Bowl Game featured the Pac-10’s Washington State University Cougars and the Big 12’s University of Oklahoma Sooners and resulted in a 34-14 OU victory.
Led by legendary composer/conductor John Williams as Grand Marshal, the 2004 Rose Parade celebrated the universal language with the theme Music Music Music. For the first time in aviation history, three different Air Force stealth aircraft (B-2 Spirit, F-117A Nighthawk and F/A-22 Raptor) flew together in formation, with appearances at both the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl Game.
Music Music Music was also part of the Rose Bowl Game, which began with a historic pre-game performance featuring the combined university marching bands, conducted by Rose Parade Grand Marshal John Williams. The Rose Bowl Game hosted the No. 1-ranked USC Trojans and the No. 3-ranked Michigan Wolverines. The Trojans defeated Michigan, 28-14, clinching half of the national championship.
The 116th Rose Parade commenced with an opening ceremony featuring Rose Queen Ashley Moreno, Tournament of Roses President Dave Davis and Grand Marshal Mickey Mouse, along with many of his Disney family members, in a singing and dancing performance. The parade theme was Celebrate Family.
The 2005 Rose Bowl Game featured a historic match-up – the first time ever that the University of Michigan and the University of Texas met on the gridiron, as well as the first time the Longhorns ever visited Rose Bowl Stadium. A last-minute field goal gave the Longhorns a 38-37 victory.
The 117th Rose Parade, featuring U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor as Grand Marshal, was held on Jan. 2 in observance of the Tournament’s “Never on Sunday” tradition. It rained throughout the parade, which began with an opening performance by Grammy Award-winner LeAnn Rimes. The parade theme was It’s Magical.
The 2006 Rose Bowl Game National Championship was held on Jan. 4 and featured two undefeated teams– No.1-ranked USC and No.2-ranked Texas Longhorns. Texas beat USC, 41-38, to earn the Longhorns their first national championship since 1970.
Led by legendary filmmaker George Lucas, the 118th Rose Parade celebrated the theme Our Good Nature. The Parade began with an opening show featuring Tony Award-winning actress Kristin Chenoweth, Tournament of Roses President Paul L. Holman and Miss America Jennifer Berry. Parade highlights include a Star Wars Spectacular, which featured two floats, 200 storm troopers and the Grambling University Marching Band.
The 93rd Rose Bowl Game featured No. 5-ranked USC defeating No. 3-ranked Michigan, 32-18, in a traditional Pac-10 vs. Big Ten match-up.
In the spirit of the theme Passport to the World’s Celebrations, the 119th Rose Parade was led by Grand Marshal Emeril Laggasse. The festivities kicked off with an opening show featuring dancers and flags from around the world and culminated with a flyover by Navy F18 Hornets.
The 94th Rose Bowl Game hosted the University of Illinois and the USC in a traditional Pac-10 vs. Big Ten match-up. The Trojans were victorious over the Illini with a 49-17 final score in The Granddaddy of Them All.
The 120th Rose Parade, themed Hats Off to Entertainment, was led by Grand Marshal Cloris Leachman, an Oscar- and Emmy-winning actress. The opening show featured a tip of the hat from Honda’s 50-foot-tall robot, ASIMO. The first-ever Viewers’ Choice Award, voted on by viewers at home, was awarded to Cal Poly Universities for their “Seaside Amusement” float.
The 95th Rose Bowl Game featured the USC Trojans, participating in their fourth consecutive Rose Bowl Game, in a traditional Pac-10 vs. Big Ten match-up against the Pennsylvania State University Nittany Lions. The Trojans won, 38-24.
The 121st Rose Parade featured an opening led by Grand Marshal and national hero Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III, who, with his crew, courageously saved the lives of 155 people by guiding US Airways Flight 1549 to an emergency water landing in New York City’s Hudson River in January 2009. The Parade theme was 2010: A Cut Above the Rest. The festivities ended with a tribute to the late 2010 Tournament of Roses President and Naval officer Gary J. DiSano: a Navy flyover carrying out the missing man formation.
2010 marked a historic year for the Tournament of Roses as the organization hosted two post-season football games. The 96th Rose Bowl Game featured No. 8-ranked Ohio State University defeating No. 7-ranked University of Oregon in a traditional Pac-10 vs. Big Ten matchup. The Buckeyes beat the Ducks, 26-17.
The 2010 Citi BCS National Championship Game was held on Jan. 7 and featured a match-up between the top two collegiate teams in the nation, the No. 1-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide and the No. 2-ranked Texas Longhorns. The Crimson Tide captured the national championship title, defeating the Longhorns, 37-21.
Themed Building Dreams, Friendships & Memories, the 122nd Rose Parade presented by Honda featured an opening led by cooking icon and Grand Marshal Paula Deen. Guinness World Records deemed the Natural Balance Pet Foods, Inc. float the “World’s Heaviest Float.”
The 97th Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO featured No. 3-ranked Texas Christian University defeating No. 5-ranked University of Wisconsin in a non-traditional Big Ten vs. Mountain West Conference match-up. The Horned Frogs were victorious over the Badgers, with a 21-19 win.
The 123rd Rose Parade, themed “Just Imagine...” featured an opening that included Tournament of Roses President Richard W. Jackson and two children atop the theme float, climaxing with confetti and a flyover by the United States Air Force. RFD-TV celebrated Roy Rogers’ 100th birthday by placing a float in the parade, accompanied by 100 palominos donning American flags. In keeping with the “Never on Sunday” tradition, the Parade was held Jan. 2.
The 98th Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO featured the Oregon Ducks defeating the Wisconsin Badgers, 45-38, in a traditional Pac-12 vs. Big Ten Conference match-up.
The 124th Rose Parade was themed “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!TM”, the title of a Dr. Seuss book. President Sally M. Bixby (the second female president in Tournament history) kicked off the parade atop the theme float. The parade also featured the on-float wedding of a couple selected via a Facebook contest, the reunion of a soldier with his unsuspecting wife and young son, and a B-2 flyover that coincided with the appearance of a float commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Korean War.
The 99th Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO pitted the University of Wisconsin Badgers against the Stanford University Cardinal. The traditional Pac-12 vs. Big Ten match-up was won by Stanford, 20-14.
The 125th Rose Parade presented by Honda was themed “Dreams Come True” and featured Grand Marshal Vin Scully. The parade also featured a United States Air Force Thunderbirds flyover, an on-float wedding of a same-sex couple, performances by KC and the Sunshine Band, Natalie Cole, Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates, and the season five winner of NBC’s “The Voice,” Tessanne Chin. The American Honda float set the record for being the longest multi-segment float in Rose Parade history with its 274 foot entry.
The 100th Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO featured the No. 4 BCS-ranked Michigan State Spartans and the No. 5 BCS-ranked Stanford Cardinal in a traditional Big Ten vs. Pac-12 match-up. Playing in the Rose Bowl Game for the first time since 1988, the Spartans defeated the Cardinal, 24-20.
In addition to the milestones of the Rose Parade, Rose Bowl Game and Tournament House (100 years), the Tournament of Roses hosted the 16th and final Bowl Championship Series (BCS) National Championship between the No. 1 BCS-ranked Florida State Seminoles and the No. 2 BCS-ranked Auburn Tigers. The Seminoles captured the national title, defeating the Tigers, 34-31.
The 126th Rose Parade presented by Honda, themed “Inspiring Stories” was held on the second-coldest New Year’s Day in Pasadena since 1952 (missing the record low by one degree) with a temperature of 33 degrees. Olympic runner and WWII POW, Louis Zamperini, was named Grand Marshal at 97 years-old – setting a record for the Tournament of Roses as the oldest person to be named Grand Marshal. Unfortunately, Louis passed away in May 2014 before his historic trip down Colorado Boulevard. He was represented by his family in the parade.
The Rose Parade also featured City of Pasadena ambassador, Joan Williams, on the Inspiring Stories theme banner, a flyover from the B-2 Bomber, and first-time float participants: the American Armenian Rose Float Association, United Sikh Mission and The Bachelor among others. The Closing Show presented by Wells Fargo saluted veterans and featured a special presentation of a mortgage-free home to retired Army Staff Sergeant and Purple Heart recipient Dominic Perrotte III and his family.
The 101st Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual served as the first-ever College Football Playoff Semifinal and featured a matchup between the No. 2 CFP-ranked Oregon Ducks, led by 2014 Heisman Trophy winner and quarterback, Marcus Mariota, and No. 3 CFP-ranked Florida State Seminoles, led by 2013 Heisman Trophy winner and quarterback, Jameis Winston. The Ducks defeated the Seminoles 59-20 and advanced to the first-ever College Football Playoff Championship.