Friday, April 25, 2014

The 1964-65 New York World's Fair

The 1964-65 New York World’s Fair was one of the greatest and most historical events ever held in the United States. It is only fitting that The Big E, America’s Premier Exposition, brings the memory of the World’s Fair back to life for visitors of all ages to experience with a special 50th Anniversary exhibit at the Fair this September.

Being born in the 90s, I obviously never had the pleasure of attending the 64-65 World’s Fair, or any for that matter. Nowadays, nothing can even compare to the magnitude of that event in the US. The Big E is the only exposition that I’ve been to that would remotely resemble it. The 1964-65 New York World’s Fair ran for about 12 months of its two seasons, attracted 51,607,307 visitors and sat on over 647 acres of land in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens.

At the World’s Fair, visitors were exposed to the most diverse and extensive entertainment and education as well as the greatest technological innovations and predictions the world at that time had ever seen. Even fifty years later, the World’s Fair still remains synonymous with American culture of the 60s – even though colonies on the moon and jet packs have yet to come to fruition.

Since I was first told this exhibit would be in the Young building during The Big E, I felt the need to acquaint myself with the historic event. I am also a history nut so briefly familiarizing myself with the event turned into reading numerous articles and watching dozens of YouTube videos. The virtual experience got me so into it that I completely fangirled when my dad told me he had a model car featured in the General Motors’ “Futurama II” exhibit at the 1965 Fair.

The 1964-65 World’s Fair exhibit at The Big E will feature more than 250 pieces of souvenirs and artifacts from the Fair. A seven foot tall recreation of the “Unisphere,” will be the centerpiece along with a large amount of Ford’s World’s Fair memorabilia, including a scale model of the Ford Pavilion and an authentic 1965 Ford Mustang, the instantly popular car that Ford debuted at the 1964 World’s Fair.

In addition, displays will highlight the new technologies of the time, eating at the Fair, the Sinclair Dinoland and more! There will also be a unique film presentation featuring rare and never publicly screened home movie and commercial footage from the 1964 event.

The goal of the exhibit is to capture the fairgoer experience and create a nostalgic trip for those who visited the fair and for those who didn’t, the opportunity to see the significance of the World’s Fair for the first time. 

After we announced the exhibit on Monday, Big E fans shared their memories of the World’s Fair with us. Here are several of them.

“I was about 4 and have some vivid memories of it, including the Carousel of Progress, the dinosaurs, and It's A Small World. I look forward to seeing the exhibit at the Big E!” – Allison

“Went there on a field trip from Duggan Jr. High School with a good friend Douglas Johnson.” – Winslow

“I remember walking around there on a class trip. Wow! Long time ago.” – Shelley

“I went in '64 when I was 6 years old. My mom & dad had gone earlier and saw the "It's a Small World" exhibit and my mom said they had to go back so they could bring me. I have vivid memories of that display. I still have the record I got has a souvenir. Also, another item I remember well, is the Telephone where you could also see the person talking to you...amazing. There was also this money tank where you saw bills flying all around, I am not quite sure what it was for. One more thing, I decided I needed to use the parents' panicked as I went alone and they didn't know what had happened to me. Hopefully, the city of New York will stay in discussion and will not tear down the remains of some of the iconic structures. Some are slated to be destroyed in the near future.” – Patty

“Was there in 1965. An experience to say the least.” – Judy

“Bus to New York World's Fair out of Springfield. Huge crowds; long lines. Disney's It's a Small World, Michelangelo's Pieta, jade Budda on a chain as a souvenir. Looooong fun day.” – Ellen

“My dad took me, one of my favorite memes with him!! Thanks for this reminder!! <3” – Linda

“My husband says he had his first Amana Radar Range (first microwave) hotdog at the fair. He said a lot of people would not eat them.” – Barbra

Do you remember your trip to the World’s Fair?
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