The Cherry Hill Mall celebrated its 50th birthday Tuesday, as America’s first enclosed shopping center east of the Mississippi.
Let us look back on some highlights from a half century of parking, shopping and forgetting where we parked.
Oct. 11, 1961, 9 a.m. — Cherry Hill Mall opened its doors, a bright symbol of America at the height of its wealth and influence.
Oct. 11, 1961, 9:05 a.m. — First condoms shoplifted.
Aug. 14, 1961, 2:17 p.m. — In 97-degree weather, the mall reports its first death from hypothermia as a result of the air conditioning.
May 6, 1968, 12,34 p.m. — Hippies bust into the mall, preach socialism and refuse to leave. Within three years, they are selling small pairs of overalls and calling themselves “Baby Gap.”
Jan. 5, 1972, 3 p.m. — The city of Pennsauken is founded in the parking lot near J.C. Penny.
Nov. 6, 1987, 1:15 p.m. to 4.32 p.m. — Polygamy is briefly legalized.
Apr. 2, 2006, 11: 42 p.m. — Cleaning crews stumble upon a family of five who have been lost in the mall for 16 years and still believe there’s a Mrs. Fields around here someplace.