“Floyd Roberts was born in South Dakota but lived nearly all of his life in California. While he lived in Van Nuys, most of his racing was done in Glendale. He raced for
“In 1938, Roberts won the Pole Position [at the Indy 500] with an average speed of 125.506 mph. He led 92 laps to win the 26th Indy 500…
“[In the 1939 race] driving well, but not all-out, he was following Robert Swanson… When Swanson skidded coming out of the 2nd turn on the backstretch, Roberts swerved to the outside of the track to miss him; but Sawnson’s car shot toward the outer wall, momentarily locking wheels with Roberts’ car. [Roberts’ car] cartwheeled over the outside retaining wall and crashed at the foot of the embankment at the Speedway golf course… Roberts had a broken neck – the first 500 winner to die on the track. He never regained consciousness and died in the early afternoon at Methodist Hospital.”
Excerpts and image from http://indymotorspeedway.com/memorial_1939.html .
A nice reserved seat cost $2.20 for the January 2 event. A spread from an unidentified magazine shows the Culver City entry at top center and some under-construction views. The float at the lower right is built directly onto an automobile. The parade theme was Golden Memories.
Here are details from the Tournament of Roses website:
The Rose Parade celebrates its 50th Anniversary. Grand Marshal Shirley Temple – the youngest GM ever – presides over the parade.
Richard and Pat Nixon enjoy their first date at the Duke vs. USC Rose Bowl Game. USC beats Duke, 7-3, with a famous come-from-behind touchdown drive as fourth-string quarterback Doyle Nave and second- string end “Antelope Al” Kreuger combine for four completed passes and a final 19-yard touchdown pass as time runs out.
The first telecast of a special event from the Tournament of Roses took place on station W6XAO of Los Angeles, with commentator Don Lee describing the January 1 evening preparations of the Royal Court. Parade and game held on Jan. 2.
Pasadena Star-News and Pasadena Post annual souvenir book.