On Sept. 14, 1969, David Selby was grand marshal of the “I Am An American Day Parade” in Baltimore, Maryland. It was a huge event: Crowd numbers were estimated to have topped 200,000 for the Sunday parade.
“Thousands of teen-age girls swarmed next to the reviewing stand, where Mr. Selby sat throughout the day, screaming at the top of their lungs,” reported The Baltimore Sun the following day. “One police officer, who helped escort the television performer during the parade, said the youths were ‘behaving themselves’ and had caused little trouble, but another officer attempting to control the crowd indicated the police had some difficulty. ‘Motorcycle escorts don’t mean anything,’ he said, adding ‘They knock over the motorcycles.'”
The newspaper also included the following quote from Selby, taken from a speech he delivered to the crowd: “With all the troubles and problems we have today, I wanted to tell you it’s really not so bad to be an American.”
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