Who doesn't love a trolley parade?

Trolleys, parade in old Boston

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can figure out what was going on in this picture, and when. See it larger.



Free tagging: 


    Armistice Day parade...

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    Looks to be late 19-teens... soldiers watching others soldiers parade by inside the trolleys...
    Possibly Boylston Street

    Looks like a type of military

    Looks like a type of military parade, perhaps to honor GIs at the end of WWI? Street kinda looks like Tremont Street in the South End to me. Possibly Beacon Street in Back Bay too.


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    It looks like the veterans for peace group.

    My first instinct is the Schoolboy Parade

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    but that usually took place on Huntington Ave with the cars lining up by Mechanics Hall, and this is clearly the 600 block of Tremont Street in the South End.

    Judging by the uniformed servicemen, this is most likely a service parade, but not necessarily during the war.

    It's difficult to date because the streetcars are not running on their regular routes, so car assignment logs are of little use.

    I can see an auto has a plate with a 1933 registration on it. The streetcars are wearing their dark green paint and have not been painted into the orange, cream and maroon yet.

    Maybe 1934-38.

    The Siege of The South End

    The military commandeered the trolleys to move troops to the front in a long-forgotten maneuver to defend the South End from an attack by subversive Mooninite fifth columnists in the waning days of WW I. Time was when this day was observed as a public holiday in Suffolk County.

    One of those cars is signed

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    One of those cars is signed "NO STOPS" which is a frequent destination along the T's car lines today!


    Pretty sure the darker uniforms are police, not military, though not certain-- obviously not the sailors. If so, though, the 'T' patch on the shoulder may be for "training," or would we have had "trolley" cops even back then?

    The Answer!

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    Thanks for playing folks! This is Tremont Street in the South End on June 2, 1933. The event is a parade of Boston high school cadets.

    Governor calls out National

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    Governor calls out National Guard to reinforce Mayor in the installation of curb cuts.

    I like the "run slow" sign near the street corner. Clearly, they've continued to take that to heart all these decades later.