report, February 16, 1955.
21,536 persons attended the Galveston showing.
This attendance represents a disappointing 32.3% of the city's
population as computed by the 1950 census.
28 show hours were scheduled , however only 22.5 show
hours were actually held. On opening night the show was closed at 9:30
p.m. because of cold weather -- 1/2 show hours lost. During the night
strong winds up to 50 mph caused damage to the Aer-O-Dome tent. Repairs on
the tent forced cancellation of all stage shows on Friday 2/11/55. 4
show hours were held of the 9 hours scheduled; 5 show hours lost. Show
closed 5 p.m. 2/11/55.
Generally unfavorable weather conditions during the
showing was the main reason for the disappointing attendance. Night time
temperatures were extremely cold and damp and crowds were poor however,
the weekend attendance was good during the day when fair weather
The visibility of the Alamo School grounds show site
was good but facilities for parking were poor. This was the best show
site we could have selected in Galveston because of its well known
location and the fact that we had no other desirable sites to chose from
in the city.
DISTRIBUTION -- PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS
The following promotional materials were ordered
in connection with the Galveston showing: 550 one sheet (window posters,
1,400 bulletin board posters and 2,075 easel back posters. In addition,
20-24 sheet billboard posters were ordered. Mailing pieces totaled more
than 17,000 with three dealer lists serviced by direct mail. One local
dealer along ordered 10,000 mailing pieces (bulk shipment) and 1,000
easel back posters. The mailing pieces were intended to be distributed
through local super markets.
Although excellent cooperation and assistance was
given by local and all Galveston Co. dealers, retail merchants, Chamber
of Commerce officials and schools in the use and distribution of all
promotional materials, it was very evident from the start that a large
over-abundance of promotional material had been ordered that could not
possibly be used or distributed in a city of the size and population of
Galveston. It is the opinion of the Advance Representative that about
one half of the actual promotional materials ordered for this showing
would have been adequate amount for good use and distribution. In order
to avoid this overage of Parade promotional materials being ordered in
the future it is suggested that it be emphasized at the direst dealer
meeting that orders be based on individual use and distribution of the
materials available in relation to the number of dealers participating
in the show's promotional program.
Another good method of determining amounts of
promotional materials which are both reasonable and proper would be to
check on cities of comparable size and population where the Parade has
shown and make the comparison at the dealer meeting to give those
participating somewhat of an idea as to what they might order.
Very excellent cooperation in handling the
distribution of promotional materials to all Galveston Co. dealers was
made possible through the assistance of Mr. W. M. Davis, Branch Manager,
GMAC and staff of field representatives. Parade promotional materials
were delivered to dealers in the following communities on the mainland:
Texas City, LaMarque, Alvin, Dickinson, & League City. This includes
a trading areas of approximately 35 miles around Galveston.
Galveston city and county schools received and
displayed bulletin board posters which were distributed through the
Superintendent's office and the Board of Education. Facts Digests were
distributed to member of the teaching staffs of city and county schools
through the office of the superintendent of schools.
The Chamber of Commerce gave excellent support to the
local promotional program as evidence by the attached letter which was
mailed to approximately 100 local retail merchants and manufacturers. It
is estimated that from 20 - 25% replies came to the Advance
Representative requesting poster materials for use in windows, counters,
Three news releases were mailed to four weekly newspapers
in Galveston County. Different mats were supplied with each release.
The Texas City Sun (daily) and the LaMarque Times
(weekly) gave good pre-arrival publicity and covered the opening
performance. The Texas City Sun carried a front page photo of Parade
Director J.E. Ryan being greeted on arrival in T.C. by the Mayor and
Chamber of Commerce officials (2/10/55). Out-of-town tear sheets have
been requested but have not been received.
Very excellent press coverage was given in both
Galveston daily papers - News (a.m.) and Tribune (p.m.). Pre-arrival
coverage was good and daily coverage during the showing was excellent.
Front page stories were the rule rather than the exception.
Tear sheets from both Galveston daily papers indicate
a total 4,777 column inches. This includes nineteen photos; five photos
appearing on Page One. There were ten front page stories.
NEWSPAPER COVERAGE - ADVERTISING - National
Ads appeared as scheduled in both Galveston Daily
papers. Tear sheets have been turned over to the Parade offices and one
set has been forwarded to the Central Office.
Eleven Galveston County, /collectively, participating
in running one full page ad which appeared in the Galveston Tribune
(p.m.) 2/9/55 and the Galveston news (a.m.) 2/10/55.
One local dealer ran one 420 line ad which appeared
in both local papers on 2/11/55.
TV & RADIO COVERAGE
Radio/TV coverage was very good during the Galveston
showing. Attached are schedules of public service publicity devoted to
the Parade by KGUL-TV and KGBC radio.
SPECIAL ENGAGEMENTS and EVENTS
Tuesday 2/8/55 -- Two lecturers presented Parade of
Progress assembly program before Texas City High school students.
Tuesday 2/8/55 -- Two lecturers spoke at Texas City
Rotary Club luncheon. Demonstrations given (jumping rubber and bologna
Tuesday 2/8/55 -- Two lecturers spoke at Galveston
Kiwanis Club luncheon and presented demonstrations (jumping rubber &
Monday 2/7/55 -- Advance representative and lecturer spoke at Galveston
Exchange Club. Jumping rubber & bologna bottle demonstrations given.
Saturday 2/12/55 -- Distinguished visitors at the
Parade of Progress included Mr. & Mrs. E.L. Hechtermans, Counsel
General of the Netherlands from New Orleans, (Page One news and photo
story appeared in Galveston News Sun. 2/13/55.)
RECEPTION COMMITTEE -- ARRIVAL PARADE -- Wednesday, February 9,
The Parade was routed through Texas City en route to
Galveston where a 15 minute stop was made at the high school to meet
civic officials were were invited to ride in the parade through the
business district. Mayor L. A. Robinson, Chamber of Commerce
representatives and GM dealers of Texas City and nearby La Marque were
on hand to welcome the caravan.
A representative group composed of civic officials,
GM dealers and members of the press greeted the caravan at the Galveston
pickup point at 11:00 a.m. City officials present were: Mayor Herbert Y.
Cartwright, Jr., Thomas F. Juneman, Commissioner of Streets, E.R. Baron,
Commissioner of Finance, Mr. J. Davis Hill, Superintendent of Public
Schools, and Mr. E.J. Pennington, Sr., President of the Galveston
Chamber of Commerce. Following this official welcome at the parade
pickup point, members of the reception committee rode in the downtown
street parade to the show site.
OPENING PERFORMANCE -- Thursday, February 10, 1955
2,290 persons braved cold temperatures and strong
winds to attend the special opening performance Thursday night, 2/10/55.
Weather reports during the day indicating that a cold front accompanied
by strong northwest winds was due to arrive on opening night were 100%
correct and many people undoubtedly were discouraged from attending the
first showing who had previously planned to do so. 500 reserved seats
were set aside for invited guests at the first tent show, although more
than 750 acceptances were received on the reply cards sent out with the
H.P. Grenda, GM Public Relations Regional Manager
from Dallas served as master of ceremonies and introduced Mayor Herbert
Y. Cartwright, Jr. who welcomed the Parade to Galveston. John E. Ryan
spoke briefly on purposes, background and philosophy of the Parade of
Progress and introduced Dale Stevenson who presented the first stage
SPECIAL SCHOOL SHOWINGS -- Friday, February 11, 1955
1,375 students from the following schools attended
special showings from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Due to damage to the Aer-O-Dome tent caused by strong
winds (up to 50 mph), late Thursday night it was necessary to cancel all
stage shows scheduled Friday. Court exhibits were operated from school
groups attending in the morning. due to the extreme cold temperatures
and cancellation of tent shows the Advance Representative notified all
schools scheduled to attend special showings in the afternoon and
advised them of the situation and urged them not to attend. Central H.S.
was scheduled to attend a 2 p.m. showing estimating 900 students.
Rosenberg JHS with 800 students was scheduled to attend the 1 p.m. tent
show. a total of 1,700 students were to have attended special showings
Arrangements for the scheduling of these special
school showings were made with the excellent assistance and cooperation
of Mr. J. Davis Hill, Superintendent of Galveston Public Schools and the
principals of the individual schools scheduled to attend.
Very excellent Press, radio and TV cooperation was given prior to
the Parade's arrival and throughout the showing in Galveston. Front page
news and picture stories were the rule rather than the exception
following the show's arrival.
Fine cooperation and assistance was given the Advance
Representative by local Galveston Co. GM dealers in support of the
Parade's promotional program. Excellent cooperation was received from
GMAC branch office personnel and the Galveston Chamber of Commerce
It was unfortunate that special school showings
schedule for Friday afternoon 2/11/55 had to be canceled due to the cold
temperatures and damages to the Aer-O-Dome tent. We did have the weather against
us here and it was impossible to beat the unfavorable conditions.
In spite of these unfavorable weather conditions
which were primarily responsible for the low attendance it is believe
that our Galveston showing was a good one because the people who did see
the Parade of Progress were the right people in Galveston. The Parade of
Progress is the talk of the town and some very fine comments have been
heard from civic officials, business people and educators. public
reaction has been excellent toward the show and to Parade personnel.
SIGN - SHOW SITE
Two multi-colored lot signs were erected on the show
site at the Alamo School Grounds on Wednesday Feb. 2, 1955. An 8' x 12'
sign was placed at the front of the lot near the Theme center and
smaller 6' x 10' sign was erected near the back of the lot. Both signs
had excellent visibility from two main thoroughfares. Both permanent
type signs were removed from the show site and shipped to Austin for use
again in that city.
Printing -- Multigraphic POP news releases (3),
printing, stuffing, stamping, sealing two invitation letters, press reception
and special opening reply postal cards and admission cards, $150.83
Press Receptions -- February 1, 1955, Hotel Galveston
Club Room, $164.70
Photography -- Arrival parade through Texas City and
Galveston. Special opening performance and events during show, $114.00
Signs -- Two en route banners from Beaumont. Painting
and erection of two signs at show site. Signs removed and shipped to
Austin for use again in that city, $122.00.
All outstanding bills received following departure of
Parade of Progress will be forwarded immediately to H.M. De Fer,
Miscellaneous Expenses: Installation of lines for
remote broadcasts from Alamo School Grounds show site by radio station
KGBC, $17.60. bill to be submitted to H.M. De Fer.
APPRECIATION LETTER LISTS
Attached is a list of those persons to whom special
letters of appreciation should be sent.
CAPTIONS - GALVESTON PHOTOS
Captions of all photos taken during the Galveston
showing have been forwarded to Morley Warren.
LOT CONDITION - DEPARTURE - Wednesday, February 16, 1955
On Wednesday morning, following the departure of the
Parade of Progress from the Galveston show site, known as the Alamo
School Grounds, the Advance Representative met with Mr. Eugene Jackson,
Business manger for the Galveston Public Schools and Mr. Alvin Marchak,
Principal of the Alamo Elementary School to determine the condition of
the show site. The grounds were carefully surveyed and were found to be
in excellent condition. There were no damages whatsoever to this show
site. Both gentlemen were highly complimentary toward the exhibits and
the personnel of the Parade of progress.
There are many new friends of General Motors in
Galveston who would like to have the Parade of Progress return for
Thomas C. Van Voorhis, Advance Representative