Essays » Popular Culture
American Bandstand (1952-89) was a massively popular music television program with strong Philadelphia roots, storied national success, and the power to shape the music industry and society. Particularly during the show’s prime Philadelphia years (1952-63), Philadelphia youth culture became American culture through American Bandstand.
Modeled after the Crystal Palace Great Exhibition in London, and the first in a long line of major world’s fairs in the United States, the Centennial Exhibition in 1876 exhibited national pride and belief in the importance of education and progress through industrial innovation.
Local children’s programming in the Philadelphia area flourished during the “Golden Age of Television,” from the rise of commercial broadcasting after World War II to the early 1970s. During its heyday the hosted children’s show was a mainstay of locally produced programming.
In 1926, Philadelphia hosted the Sesquicentennial International Exposition, a world’s fair, to commemorate the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Although it opened to great fanfare, the exposition failed to attract enough visitors to cover its costs.
Mascots are larger-than-life cheerleaders who encourage fans to root for the home team, laugh, and even have some fun at the expense of opponents. In Philadelphia, mascots have become as much a part of the fabric of sports culture as the city’s teams.