Special Report

The Grandest Military Parades in History

Source: National Park Service

Dwight Eisenhower’s inaugural parade (1953)
> Troop count: 22,000
> Country: United States
> City held: Washington, D.C.
> Occasion: President Eisenhower’s election

Newly inaugurated president Dwight Eisenhower’s inaugural parade featured tanks and marching troops befitting the man who had led the crusade to help liberate Europe from fascism.

Source: Majid / Getty Images

National Army Day (1979)
> Troop count: Unknown
> Country: Iran
> City held: Tehran
> Occasion: Military

Iran marks its annual National Army Day every April 18 with martial displays featuring all branches of the Islamic republic’s military. The occasion usually features anti-American messages. Iran’s leaders view the parade near the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini, who founded the republic in 1979.

Source: Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images

Independence Day (1991)
> Troop count: 4,500
> Country: Ukraine
> City held: Kiev
> Occasion: Independence

Ukraine celebrates its independence day on Aug. 24 in its capital of Kiev with a military parade that includes marching troops, tanks, and jet flyovers. Ukraine became independent when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991.

Source: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Gulf War victory parade (1991)
> Troop count: 8,000
> Country: United States
> City held: New York City/Washington, D.C.
> Occasion: End of the Gulf War

The latest military parade held in Washington, D.C. was in June 1991 to welcome back American troops from the Gulf War. As part of a coalition of allied forces, U.S. troops expelled Saddam Hussein and Iraqi forces from Kuwait. About 200,000 people saluted 8,000 troops who served during the Gulf War.