Rudolph on Broad Street

Courtesy Gregg Lewis


The Huffington Post reported that “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is “seriously problematic.” In this age of political correctness, this story has been described as containing “bullying with undertones of sexism;” little did we know when we watched the story every Christmas when we were growing up.

Well, here is something about Rudolph that you might not know. Rudolph was introduced to the world right here in Rome, Georgia. This occurred at Montgomery Ward’s newest store on Broad Street in 1939, now home to V3, La Scala and the Lewis’ loft. Montgomery Ward employee Bob May originally came up with the idea of Rudolph in a coloring book, which was given out to children first from their newest location in Rome. It was years later, in 1949, that Gene Autry recorded his No. 1 song about Rudolph.

So whether or not the Rudolph story meets today’s criteria for political correctness, you now know one more thing about Rome. You can drive by the old Montgomery Ward building in the 400 block of Broad Street and when you look up, you will be greeted by a 15-foot Rudolph with his girlfriend, Clarice.  Merry Christmas.