The two brothers took part in the inaugural parade that year and have one of the special license plates issued for floats in the parade.
Both were in the Third Cavalry of the U.S. Army stationed at Fort Meade which was called on to participate in the parade. Phil drove a jeep pulling a float and Bill rode in one of the jeeps as the parade moved down Pennsylvania Avenue.
“We had to get there really early in the morning for the lineup,” said Phil, “and then when the parade started it went on four or five hours, which made it almost dark when we got back to Fort Meade.” He said his whole unit participated, some in vehicles, others marching.
“We didn’t get to see much of the parade, just what was in front of us,” added Bill, “but it was quite an experience for two Meigs County boys just 18 and 19.”
As for how they got the license plate, Phil said they had to go back to Virginia to take the float back to Fort Meade and they were told that if they wanted a souvenir they could take a plate off of a float. He said he went to get a screw driver, found when he got back the plate had been removed from the float he pulled so he took one off of another float.
“I’ve kept it all these years. It hangs on my kitchen wall,” said Phil as he proudly displayed the souvenir license plate.