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June 16

Ice Capades

Nowadays, folks who skated with the Ice Capades get together for reunions every year to laugh, reminisce—and, of course, skate.

Photo by Fred Ramage/Keystone Features/Getty Images

1940: Theater on Ice
The first Ice Capades show opens
There was a time when seeing an Ice Capades show was the hottest ticket in town for a family night out. The show featured Olympic skaters and other national champions acting out plays, TV shows, and other stories in elaborate costumes and on skates.

It all started when a group of ice arena managers noticed how much applause the ice-skating demonstrations between hockey segments generated. On this day, Ice Capades mounted its first show in New Orleans. Skating stars of the day were along for the ride on this debut tour of 40 cities across the U.S. As children flocked to these shows with their parents, demand for ice-skating lessons surged. Still, with so much competition for leisure-time activities and dollars, the show’s popularity faded.
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