A whale of a parade in 1957's San Francisco





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Published on Sep 14, 2012

September 18, 1957 - San Francisco marks the start of the seafood season with a parade down Market Street featuring a 42 foot dead whale, complete with barnacles.
On the back of the Bigge Drayage trailer, riding with the 42 ton whale was Miss Seafood Week and her fishing pole, as well as Dolphina, Bimbo's 365 Club's Girl in the Fishbowl.
National Seafood Week was an attempt to get people to eat more fish, but the people on the sidewalk seemed startled as the whale went by, this didn't stop them from cracking jokes though: "There's a whale of a parade." "That's just a California salmon."
Back at Pier 42, the whale was dumped into the bay and hauled over to the Del Monte Fishing Company, a whaling plant in Richmond, where it was turned into useable meat.
As one reporter put it after listening to humorous offerings all morning long, "All this proves that you can drag a whale down Market Street without anyone making one good joke."

The whaling plant in Richmond was one of only two in the country when it was opened by Del Monte in 1956; but by the time the US Secretary of Commerce had outlawed whaling in 1971, it was the last of its kind.

This film is from the Prelinger Archives and has been posted for its historical and educational significance.

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