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March 5, 1953 Safeway Ad from the Colorado Transcript

71 Years Ago
The March 5, 1953 Colorado Transcript announced: “Aunt Jemima Will Be Here On Saturday: Jemima To Bake Free Pancakes At Local Safeway Store.” Golden was all a-twitter at the impending visit, and the Transcript had been writing about it for weeks. The February 19, 1953 Transcript said “she will be welcomed by Mayor Everett Barnhardt and representatives from Golden civic clubs in an official ‘Key to the City’ presentation early Saturday morning at City Hall.”

It’s not entirely clear that they knew she was a fictional character. The article goes on to describe her as “a leading culinary expert for more than half a century.”

The excitement continued in the February 26th edition, which reported that a reception committee would meet her at 16th and Washington. A parade, including the Colorado School of Mines band, would escort her down Washington Avenue to City Hall. There, she would receive the key to the city and a bouquet of flowers. After that, she would be driven to Safeway, where she would distribute free pancakes.

The March 5th issue provided the final details regarding the parade. A local woman, who had won a race sponsored by Quaker Oats (the “National Pancake Day Race,” held in Liberal, Kansas), would be riding with Aunt Jemima in the car. Clowns would accompany the parade and scatter free Quaker Oats products to the crowd. In addition to the free pancakes at Safeway, children would receive free comic books and adults would be given free recipe books.

The party seems to have been a success. The March 12th Transcript says that “a few hundred people” were downtown for the 8AM parade and “approximately 1500” people went to Safeway for the pancake shindig.

Golden certainly knows how to show a fictional character a good time.

PepsiCo/Quaker Oats recently decided to rebrand Aunt Jemima pancake mix and syrup because the fictional character is considered to be a racist stereotype.

Thanks to the Golden History Museum for providing the online cache of historic Transcripts, and to the Golden Transcript for documenting our history since 1866!