Tuesday, June 4, 2013

1939 New York World’s Fair

The 1939 New York World’s Fair.

The statue of George Washington seen in the photograph was a late addition to the Fair. Near the end of the planning stages, the organizers decided it might help attract attention (i.e., visitors) if the Fair honored the 150th anniversary of Washington’s First Inauguration.

The 1939 Fair was the second-largest fair ever held in the United States, exceeded in size only by the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in Saint Louis. The 1939 Fair was the biggest international event between the two world wars.

Germany was the only major nation that did not participate in the 1939 Fair. Germany offered “budgetary” reasons for its decision to sit out the event—when in fact Germany had determined that there was no propaganda value to be gained by hosting a German pavilion, the American press having been so firmly anti-German since 1933.

The 1939 Fair was a financial disaster for the organizers; they were forced to declare bankruptcy once the Fair concluded.

The 1939 New York World’s Fair commissioned one notable music composition: Ralph Vaughan Williams’s “Five Variants Of Dives And Lazarus”.

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