A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE: CELEBRATING THE 1939 AND 1964 WORLD’S FAIRS
The World’s Fair in 1964 drew thousands of people from around the globe to Flushing Meadows Corona Park. This poster is displayed in the Queens Museum in the park.
APRIL 3, 2014
Fifty years ago, the crowds kept coming.
Hailing from Queens to California and far-flung countries across the globe, more than 51 million people trekked to Flushing Meadows Corona Park to the 1964-65 World’s Fair that was a showcase of American culture and technology. Featuring futuristic exhibitions – with many corporations demonstrating such technology as computers and telephone modems – the fair was described as an optimistic promise of a future laden with gadgets that broke down communication barriers to pave the way for a more peaceful world.
Fifty years later, the borough is about to remember that vision of the past – as well as usher in what leaders called a new era of tourism for the borough.
Borough President Melinda Katz and Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Maspeth), the co-chairs of the World’s Fair Anniversary Committee, unveiled at the newly renovated Queens Museum Friday a six-month series of events to commemorate the anniversary of both the 1964 and the 1939 World’s Fairs, both of which were held in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
“Both the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs were seminal events that had wide impacts locally, nationally and internationally,” said Katz, who noted she attended the 1964 event “in utero.” “They also left favorable impressions upon, and generated positive memories for, their attendees, and those impressions and memories have lasted until this day.”
Held within sight of the Unisphere, the massive globe created for the 1964 fair that has since become a cultural icon known worldwide as a symbol of Queens, the press conference included details about the upcoming months’ festivities, which will kick off April 22 – the day that the 1964 fair opened. The 1939 fair opened April 30.
Katz and Markey were joined by a long list of other elected officials and representatives from the borough’s cultural institutions, including the Queens Museum, the Queens Theatre – which is also situated in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the Louis Armstrong House Museum, the Museum of the Moving Image, the New York Hall of Science, the Queens Botanical Garden, the Queens Chamber of Commerce, the Queens Historical Society, and more.