2016-06-29 / Features

Celebrating The Legacy Of The Fair

BY JASON D. ANTOS

Hundreds lined up at this ‘Tent of Yesteryear,’ which featured memorabilia and videos about the 1964- 65 World’s Fair. Photos Jason D. Antos Hundreds lined up at this ‘Tent of Yesteryear,’ which featured memorabilia and videos about the 1964- 65 World’s Fair. Photos Jason D. Antos In 1939 and 1964, the world came to Queens for the World’s Fair.

Thousands of World’s Fair and Queens history enthusiasts, fascinated about what the fair was all about, came to Flushing Meadows Corona Park before the July 4th weekend for a festival and celebration that aimed to educate and promote nostalgia about the two fairs that once called the parkland home.

Although the 140 pavilions that once covered more than 600 acres of the park 50 years ago are long gone, visitors were still able to enjoy the few remaining elements of the fair, including the only standing pavilion of the 1964 fair, the New York State Pavilion. The Tent of Tomorrow was opened for visitors and the US Steel Corporation’s Unisphere stood in all its glory, surrounded by huge jets of water coming from the rarely used fountains.


Tens of Thousands attended the anniversary celebration of the 1964- 65 and 1939- 40 World’s Fairs. Tens of Thousands attended the anniversary celebration of the 1964- 65 and 1939- 40 World’s Fairs. The iconic 300-ton globe, designed by civil engineer and landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke in the center of the park, represented the fair ’s theme, “Peace Through Understanding.”

Following the success of last year’s event, visitors were hoping that an event such as this would become an annual tradition since this weekend’s get together celebrated the closing season of both World’s Fairs.

“It would really be a smart move,” said fair historian Richard N. Post. “It’s just one day and could really become an annual thing that can just grow and grow. It doesn’t need to be on just the 50th and 75th anniversaries. We could do this every summer.”

In related news, the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives has been preserving the video records of the 1939- 40 and 1964- 65 World’s Fairs and invites the public to visit and research the collection.

For more information, visit www.laguardiawagnerarchive.lagcc.cuny.edu/

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