Mobile’s Christmas season in the 1950s was marked by parties, events and celebrations throughout the city, such as the Christmas parade pictured at right. The parade took place in 1952, rolling down Government Street to the enjoyment of onlookers. Archive notes refer to the little girl on top of the float as Ms. Lockett; she is believed to be Marsha Lockett, who would have been eight years old at the time, according to records. During the 1950s, parades doubled as lively holiday celebrations and advertising opportunities for local businesses. While many cities throughout the United States made their own floats, a number of manufacturers sold build-your-own-float kits that were also used as an easier option. The kits covered several different holidays and arrived with floral sheeting, garlands and fringe included.
“Christmas is fast reaching the stage where it is an ordeal to practically everyone but the children because of over commercialization. Yet we enjoy the ordeal.”
– an excerpt from the “Editor’s Musings” section on the second page of the December 11, 1952, edition of the Fairhope Courier
By the Numbers
The phone number of Mobile Rescue Mission, pictured at the left in the above photo, in 1952. Later in the decade, cities still using five or six-digit numbers switched to seven-digit dialing.
The position Jimmy Boyd’s Christmas song “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause” reached on the Billboard Pop chart and Bestselling Children’s chart in 1952, the year it debuted.
The amount in sales that Mr. Potato Head made in the months after its debut in 1952. It was the first toy to have its own commercial. The original toy was an actual potato that came with plastic accessories.
The square footage of the St. Emanuel Street Gayfers Department Store after its 1952 expansion. Before the expansion, the store was 25,000 square feet. Gayfers was an especially popular at Christmas.
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