1964 New York World's Fair

1964–1965 New York
Unisphere viewed from observation towers of the New York State Pavilion
BIE-classUnrecognized exposition
Name1964–1965 New York World's Fair
MottoPeace through Understanding[1]
Area646 acres (2.61 km2) [2]
Invention(s)140 pavilions,[2] picture phone, CRT light pen, Audio-Animatronics
Visitors51,607,307 [1]
Organized byRobert Moses
Countries80 [1] (hosted by 37 nations)
BusinessGeneral Electric, Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Disney, IBM, Bell Telephone, US Steel, Pepsi Cola, Seven Up, Dupont, RCA, Westinghouse
CountryUnited States
CityNew York
VenueFlushing Meadows, New York
  • April 22, 1964 (1964-04-22)
  • April 21, 1965 (1965-04-21)
  • October 18, 1964 (1964-10-18)
  • October 17, 1965 (1965-10-17)
PreviousCentury 21 Exposition in Seattle
NextExpo 67 in Montreal

The 1964–1965 New York World's Fair was a world's fair that held over 140 pavilions and 110 restaurants, representing 80 nations (hosted by 37), 24 US states, and over 45 corporations with the goal and the final result of building exhibits or attractions at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Queens, New York City.[1][2][3] The immense fair covered 646 acres (2.61 km2) on half the park, with numerous pools or fountains, and an amusement park with rides near the lake. However, the fair did not receive official support or approval from the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE).

Hailing itself as a "universal and international" exposition, the fair's theme was "Peace Through Understanding", dedicated to "Man's Achievement on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe". American companies dominated the exposition as exhibitors. The theme was symbolized by a 12-story-high, stainless-steel model of the Earth called the Unisphere, built on the foundation of the Perisphere from the 1939 World's Fair.[4] The fair ran for two six-month seasons, April 22 – October 18, 1964, and April 21 – October 17, 1965. Admission price for adults (13 and older) was $2.00 in 1964 (equivalent to $18.87 in 2022 after calculating for inflation). Admission in 1965 increased to $2.50 (equivalent to $23.22 in 2022 after calculating for inflation). In both years, children (2–12) admission cost $1.00 (equivalent to $9.44 in 2022 after calculating for inflation).[5]

The fair is noted as a showcase of mid-twentieth-century American culture and technology. The nascent Space Age, with its vista of promise, was well represented. More than 51 million people attended the fair, though fewer than the hoped-for 70 million. It remains a touchstone for many American Baby Boomers who visited the optimistic exposition as children, before the turbulent years of the Vietnam War and many to be forthcoming cultural changes.

In many ways the fair symbolized a grand consumer show, covering many products then-produced in America for transportation, living, and consumer electronic needs in a way that would never be repeated at future world's fairs in North America. American manufacturers of pens, chemicals, computers, and automobiles had a major presence.[2][1] This fair gave many attendees their first interaction with computer equipment. Corporations demonstrated the use of mainframe computers, computer terminals with keyboards and CRT displays, teletype machines, punch cards, and telephone modems in an era when computer equipment was kept in back offices away from the public, decades before the Internet and home computers were at everyone's disposal.

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Flushing Meadows Corona Park: World's Fair Playground". nycgovparks.org. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d "IBM Pavilion NY World's Fair". EamesOffice.com. 2015. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  3. ^ Archdiocese History Archived November 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Archdiocese of New York. Retrieved November 5, 2007.
  4. ^ Gordon, John Steele (October 2006). ""The World's Fair: It was a disaster from the beginning". American Heritage.
  5. ^ Arnold, Martin (January 13, 1965). "FAIR INCREASING ADMISSION TO $2.50; 50-Cent Raise Does Not Apply to Children's Rates – Longer Run Possible". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 25, 2016.

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