April 23, 2015

On April 23, 1964, the media described the opening of the World’s Fair in New York City’s Flushing Meadows Park. The fair, which had opened the day before, even received a detailed review from Edwin Newman and NBC News.

The 1964 World’s Fair was not a financial success, but as this AP/CBS story reminds us, it offered a fascinating look at the future:

“Video phone calls? Yeah, we do that. Asking computers for information? Sure, several times a day. Colonies on the moon and jet packs as a mode of everyday transportation. OK, maybe not.

The New York World’s Fair of 1964 introduced 51 million visitors to a range of technological innovations and predictions, some that turned out to be right on the money and others that, perhaps thankfully, were way off the mark.

….Regardless of whether such notions survived, observers say the fair offered a vision of the world’s potential that made it seem like anything was possible….”

In addition to introducing its readers to the 1964 World’s Fair, The Oneonta (NY) Star also had an ad for the “phone of the future”:


An editorial in the April 23, 1964 edition of the Troy (NY) Record:

“It is generally accepted that the New York World’s Fair is a remarkable collection designed to excite the varied interests of the millions who will view it during the next two summers.

The 1964 World’s Fair….poses a challenge for America and the rest of the world. It is a challenge calling upon us to make certain we can make accomplishments outstrip predictions….”

The 1964 World’s Fair lives on at Disneyland and Disney World. The “It’s a Small World” ride, the audio-animatronic Abraham Lincoln, and various other attractions were first created for the fair.

Did you ever visit the “Carousel of Progress”?

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