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The Layer Family Collection - Splash Day Parade (1961)

James Layer

Silent | 1961

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  •  A very happy-looking dog 
  •  Splash Day’s Co-Chairmen, Early Burch and Jack M. 
  •  An unidentifiable military drill team 
  •  Here come the clowns 
  •  John McCann, president of the Galveston Convention and Tourist Bureau 
  •  Parade Marshall Charles B. Smith, president of the Galveston Chamber of Commerce 
  •  Houston Radio Patrol 
  •  El Mina Temple Drum and Bugle Corps 
  •  Senator John Tower of Texas drives by the crowd 
  •  A dog, who appears to be driving 
  •  Texas DeMolay, a fraternity for young men 
  •  Sea & Ski Tanning Lotion float 
  •  Affiliated National Hotel 
  •  Jax Brewing Corporation float 
  •  Falstaff Brewing Corporation float 
  •  Arlington marching band 
  •  Hula Hut 
  •  T. D. Armstrong, who defied racial prejudices prevalent at the time to own multiple businesses, including Armstrong-Strode Funeral Home, Armstrong Drug Store, T.D. Armstrong Reality, and Tyler Life Insurance Company, one of the largest Texas-owned, predominantly African-American insurance companies in Texas 
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This 1961 home movie captures the Layer family enjoying time together during Splash Day, an annual event in Galveston, featuring parades, a beauty contest, and music. From 1920 to 1965, Splash Day signaled the beginning of the summer tourist season in Galveston. At its height, the pageant attracted so many spectators that it tripled the island’s population during the weekend when it ran. This film shows the 5-mile long parade down Seawall Boulevard, featuring floats from several beer companies, the US Air Force and US Navy, and numerous local businesses and organizations. While Galveston no longer celebrates Splash Day, many of the same events are celebrated during the Galveston Island Beach Revue.