Year the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade began:

1924
Back then, it was known as "The Christmas Day Parade."
Source: Washington Post, 11/27/2003

 
   
  Year Macy's stopped releasing balloons and offering a prize for their return:

1933
Someone in an airplane tried to catch a balloon, nearly crashing into Broadway, prompting Macy's to end the practice.
Source: Washington Post, 11/27/2003

 
   
  First year the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was televised:

1945

Source: Washington Post, 11/27/2003

 
   
  First year the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade included large balloons:

1927
Felix the Cat and a toy soldier were among the first balloons to be used.
Source: Washington Post, 11/27/2003