With the end of World War II, the people of Hopewell were ready for a return to normalcy, and looking forward to renewing the annual Memorial Day parade with a spirit of both enthusiasm and reverence.
Thanks to Richard Anderson, we have three short videos converted from 8mm film clips that show this time, with Hopewell parades in 1946, 1947, and 1948.
The 1946 and 1947 videos show the Memorial Day parades, filmed from several points around town, following the same route and with very similar participants, including West Broad, Railroad Place, and the Grammar School. The 1948 video then shows the Firemen’s Parade, a huge event celebrating the donation by Rockwell of new fire engine.
The 1946 video also includes clips of two baseball games played at the Hart Ave. field, as baseball was also restating after the war.
(These videos originally were shot almost 80 years ago on 8mm film reels, and so while they are in color, they also are silent.)
= See the full 1946-48 Hopewell Parades Brief (PDF) ==
Memorial Day Parades – 1946 & 1947
The 1946 and 1947 Hopewell Memorial Day parades followed the same route, with very similar formations (lineup of participants). The vantage points from which the parades were filmed also were similar.
Memorial Day Parades – Route
Both Memorial Day parades lined up on Louellen Ave. at 8:30 am, and started the march “promptly” at 9 am.
The route started east up West Broad to Greenwood, turned north up Greenwood over the railroad bridge to Hart Ave., circled around and re-crossed the bridge going south, turned east on Railroad Place, and then went south up Blackwell across Broad and over to St. Michael’s.
The parade then returned to its starting point, heading north on Princeton Ave., cutting over to Maple down to East Broad, and then turning west back up West Broad to finish the march at the Old School Baptist Church Cemetery.
Along the route, the parade stopped for honors salutes at six locations, with “exercises, prayers, and salutes:” the Highland Cemetery, St. Michael’s Home, Hopewell Grammar School (Elementary School), St. Alphonsus’ Cemetery, Honor Roll (National Bank), and Old School Baptist Church Cemetery.
Both videos show the honor salute at the Grammar School, which included the color guard, firing squad, and military personnel in uniform.
Memorial Day Parades – Line-Up
The two Memorial Day parades had very similar formations, including the veterans and Legion posts, scouts and other kids, the Fire Department and equipment, and other cars, horses, and bands. The featured band in both years was Winkler’s Band of Trenton.
The general line-up:
- Marshall, four Aides, Clergy, Band
- Colors, Color Guards, Firing Squad
- Veterans Organizations (Legion), Veterans Auxiliary
- Boy and Girl Scouts, band, school children civic organizations
- Hopewell Fire Department, Ladies’ Auxiliary, Fire apparatus
- Band, Floats , decorated cars and horses (no bicycles)
1948 Hopewell Firemen’s Parade
On Saturday, June 26, 1948, Hopewell hosted a huge Firemen’s parade – a celebration that was the “Greatest Ever in Hopewell.” The parade took over an hour to pass in review, and included over 1500 people in the line of march, with nearly 50 pieces of fire equipment and 12 bands.
The video begins with the the parade starting on its route, marching east on West Broad St. As in the Memorial Day videos, the camera is facing the corner of Mercer St. on West Broad St.
The clip shows the Hopewell Fire Department equipment, followed by many other companies, marchers, floats, and bands.
With the end of World War II, baseball was restarted in Hopewell in 1946. Two baseball games were played on Memorial Day in 1946: Hopewell defeated Adams at 3:00 pm, and then beat Princeton at 6:15.
The Hopewell games were played on the Hart Ave. field, which was located on the south side of Hart Ave. next to the railroad tracks, between the current Newell Place and Pierson Place.
The 1946 video shows brief clips of two games. The first clip was shot on an earlier day, and the second clip shows the daytime game against Princeton.
The videos were filmed from Hart Ave., with home plate at the southwest corner of the field. The buildings visible in the distance are the backs of the houses on Model Ave. on the other side of the railroad tracks, between Voorhees Ave. and Mercer St.
Thanks to Rich Anderson and family for filming, preserving, and sharing these wonderful videos (and more). We welcome contributions of additional videos, photos, and other materials that we can share on the History Project site.
= For more on these videos, see the full 1946-48 Hopewell Parades Brief (PDF) ==
Related videos and photos:
- More Hopewell Borough Memorial Day Parade photos in the Image Gallery
- More historical videos on the History Project YouTube Channel
More on Memorial Day Activities
Posts on Memorial Day parades and activities
See also Town Events and Veterans Organizations
Memorial Day Parades
- Hopewell Borough Memorial Day Parade – 1992
- Hopewell Scenes – Memorial Day 1950 – 1990
- Hopewell Memorial Day Parades – 1960s & 70s
- Memorial Day 1967 – Eagle Bakery
- Memorial Day Snapshots – Behind the Scenes – 1960s and 2005
- Hopewell Memorial Day Parades c. 1950
- Hopewell Parade Videos 1946 – 1948 – Memorial Day & 1948 Firemen’s videos
Memorial Day and Related History
- Memorial Day – Hopewell’s First Fatality in WW II (1943)
- V-J Day in Hopewell (1945), as reported in the Hopewell News
- 1940s Hopewell Videos – Hopewell Honor Roll
Memorial Day Observances
- Hopewell Memorial Day Weekend Parades and Veterans Services 2023
- Memorial Day Weekend Veterans Services 2022