Book Trailer The Noble Train

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Sad End of Sally Rand

She came to fame during the Chicago Worlds Fair of 1933 after she rode a white horse naked into the opening ceremonies when she could find no other way to be part of the fair. The horse reared at the moment the photographers snapped her picture and people thought she was part of the fair. From that moment on she was. Sallly Rand took her two ostrich feathers and became the number one draw of the Chicago Worlds Fair. They had to hire extra accountants to keep track of all the money. Her name became associated with The Century of Progress forever.

But then the fair ended and Sally Rand enjoyed a brief stint in Hollywood before returning to the circuit and there she stayed doing her feather dance coast to coast.  Many husbands and many divorces and lawsuits later found her at seventy still performing her feather dance. If you watch the movie The Right Stuff then you will remember at the end the woman on the stage dancing behind the feathers and that is Sally Rand. It was her last bit of fame before obscurity swallowed her up forever. She would die broke and alone and forgotten.

But Sally Rand does live on...on Youtube. You can watch her 1933 Worlds Fair dance that tantalized thousands during the worst years of the Great Depression. When you talk to people who went to the fair they always bring up Sally Rand. As one man told me. I went and saw Sally Rand, but I was just a kid and never told my mother. She would have wore me out with a switch. And there is a Sally Rand viewer. I have never seen one but I am told this souvenir exists where you can watch the feather dance over and over.

The cost of this bit of history...priceless.

Al Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair

Books by William Hazelgrove