Friday, April 30, 2010

Pop History Moment: The 1939 World's Fair Opened

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On this day in 1939 the second of three World's Fairs to be held in New York City, entitled The World of Tomorrow, opened.

Opening day was chosen because it was the 150th anniversary of George Washington's first inauguration, which took place at Federal Hall in New York City in 1789; FDR gave the opening address at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, which was the first time an American President appeared on television. More than 200,000 people attended the fair on its first day.

For a virtual tour of the 1939 World's Fair, click here...

One fine fictional account of the 1939 World's Fair is the E. L. Doctorow novel World's Fair, published in 1985.

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Seumas Gagne said...

Boy, that poster seems to radiat the post-WWI pre-WWII optimism. What a shock they all had in store for them.

michael sean morris said...

The Fair was intended as a last-ditch attempt at world peace, as war had been imminent since Hitler's annexation of the Sudetenland (1936?).

I do love the verve of 30s commercial art; by the 40s there was far more photorealism. This is the bridge between that and the impressionistic/romantic style of the 20s.

michael sean morris said...

The day before I first posted this (on this day in 2007) in a spooky coincidence, I'd bought the novel "World's Fair" by E. L. Doctorow, a novel which is about that very fair, only I didn't know at the time I bought the book that the anniversary of its opening was today.

This year (2008) I finished reading that book the day before I republished this post.