... July 2017...
by David J. Cope
The Belgium pavilion's colonial section drew undue attention from fairgoers. Present German, Italian and Japanese foreign policy tilted toward colonial expansion, searching for new markets and especially raw materials. Count Robert van der Straten Ponthos, Belgian Ambassador to the United States professed: “We maintain the open-door policy and all nations may buy and sell in the Belgian Congo on an equal footing with the mother country.”
Patrons at the Brazilian pavilion's restaurant took special note of “a striking woman wearing a tight turban and brightly flowered dinner dress” who left her table to perform an intricate Samba on the dance floor. This intriguing ingénue? – Carmen Miranda.
In his end-of-the-season review of "The World of Tomorrow," national columnist Earl Wilson noted: "Unquestionably, the Foreign Area, the Fair's greatest triumph, sprang from Grover Whalen's selling genius." However, this accomplishment did not come easily. Almost simultaneous events in the United States and Europe in late 1936 melded together to formulate the international exhibits in the Government Zone.
Read: Foreign Pavilions
Small pieces of news and interesting information compiled by David J. Cope.
New Tidbits for July
Reel 3 - Part 1 of the Philip Medicus films
Philip Medicus filmed the Fair in color on Kodachrome. These films can be found on YouTube and on the Internet Archives. There are a total of 17 of the Medicus films which I will add to both my YouTube channel and here on the World's Fair Website. This video can be viewed on this month's On-Line Newsletter.
Covering 1,216 acres, in Flushing Meadows, New York, the 1939 New York World's Fair, like the legendary Phoenix rising from the ashes, was erected on what was an ash-dump. The theme, "Building the World of Tomorrow" echoed in virtually every corner of the Fair. This World's Fair was a look to the future and was planned to be "everyman's fair" where everyone would be able to see what could be attained for himself and his community.
The 1939 New York World's Fair opened on May 30, 1939 which was the 150th anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington in New York City, the nation's first capitol.
While some of the pavilions were still under construction and not yet open, that first day of the Fair was attended by 206,000 visitors.
Then President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave the opening speech while an estimated 1,000 visitors watched the opening on 200 televisions sets in various locations throughout the Fair.
This site is a tribute to the people, the history, and the vision of the 1939 New York World's Fair. I hope you like it and visit often. I'd appreciate knowing what you think, and any suggestions you may have on how to make it better.
When the Fair was open
- Season 1:
- Apr. 30, 1939 to Oct. 31, 1939
- Season 2:
- May 11, 1940 to Oct. 27, 1940
What did it cost to go to the Fair?Price comparison of 1939 vs 2016
1939 World's Fair Newsreel
Courtesy Periscope Films
Videos on the Web
Links to movies can now be found in one location an this site.
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Visitors since March 2008: 1,143,505
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