Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

1955 Fourth of July Parade
Newhall, California

This is downtown Newhall's entire 1955 Fourth of July Parade. The Newhall-Saugus Kiwanis had organized the parade until 1938, when American Legion Post 507 took it over. By 1955, however, the parade was in the hands of an association called the "Old West" which, according to historian A.B. Perkins, had "died on its feet." As seen in this photo, fourteen people (including photographer Richard Trueblood) insisted on keeping the tradition alive. Newhall had seen a Fourth of July Parade every year since 1932, with the exception of two war years.

From left: Clyde Houdeshell, owner of Howdy Cleaners (head obscured by flag); A.B. "Perk" Perkins (tilted against wheelbarrow); young Johnny Trueblood (with little flag); Signal editor Fred Trueblood Jr. (with flag and gun); Jim Buddell (with drum); Fred Trueblood, Sr. (with crutch); Johnny Houdeshell, Clyde's son (playing fife); Fred Trueblood III (coonskin cap and flag); Don Steward (carrying sign reading, "Don't Let the Tradition Die"); Charles Stanley (with bass drum); Buck Pryde (with large flag); Cecil Knaggs (with baton at rest). Carrying the Confederate flag* and obscured by the color bearer is Bobbie Trueblood (wife of Fred Jr.), who would go on to participate in 50 consecutive Independence Day Parades in Newhall from 1946 to 1995. Not shown: photographer Richard "Gus" Trueblood.

*Regarding the Confederate flag: Bobbie Trueblood was from England. As a prank, the parade organizers made her carry the Union Jack (the flag of the United Kingdom). Nobody in Newhall had a Union Jack, but someone had a Confederate flag, which is somewhat similar in appearance. Parade organizers apparently figured nobody would know the difference.

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