Almanac: The 1858 launch of Macy's

Almanac: The opening of Macy's
Almanac: The opening of Macy's 01:45

October 28, 1858, 160 years ago today, was the day Rowland Hussey Macy opened a small dry goods store in New York City, at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Fourteenth Street. 

His first day's sales totaled just $11.06.

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On October 28, 1858, Rowland Hussey Macy opened a small dry goods store in New York City that would become grow into a retail giant renowned for parades. CBS News

But over time business picked up – so much so that in 1902, R.H. Macy and Company opened a huge new store on Manhattan's Herald Square. 

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Macy's at Herald Square in 1903. Macy's

The store was made even larger in 1924.

That same year, Macy's staged its first big holiday parade, on Christmas Day at first. It was later moved to Thanksgiving.

In 1947, the Macy's parade provided the opening backdrop to the classic film "Miracle on 34th Street," starring Maureen O'Hara and Edmund Gwen as the department store Santa who turns out to be the real McCoy.

Today, the Macy's parade, and its flagship Herald Square store, remain prime attractions for visitors and shoppers from all over the world.

And together with its hundreds of other stores across the country, Macy's racked up nearly $25 billion in sales last year … eclipsing that first day's take of eleven dollars, and then some.

      
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Story produced by Juliana Kracov.