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The first Republic Day Parade was held at Irwin Stadium(the present National Stadium) on 26th January 1950. The hoisting of the national flag by the President and a parade of units representing all the armed forces were highlights of the ceremony.

A galaxy of dignitaries awaited the arrival of the President at the first Republic Day celebrations.(From left) The Army chief and the first Indian Chief of Staff, General(later Field Marshal) K. M. Cariappa, Navy Chief Admiral Sir Edward Parry, Defence Minister Baldev Singh and Air Chief Marshal Sir Thomas W. Elmhirst . This was the only time the Indian Navy led the parade as the senior-most service - the Indian Army took over after that.

President Dr Rajendra Prasad greets the public

Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru salutes the forces

Flypast by a formation of nine aircraft

President Dr. Rajendra Prasad in his special message to the nation said "We must re-dedicate ourselves on this day to the peaceful but sure realisation of the dream that had inspired the father of our nation(Mahatma Gandhi) and the other captains and soldiers of our freedom struggle, the dream of establishing a classless, co-operative, free and happy society."

"We must remember that this is more a day of dedications than of rejoicing - dedication to the glorious task of making the peasants and workers, the toilers and the thinkers fully free, happy and cultured," he added.