The 1939 New York World's Fair

... October 2014 ...

The 75th Anniversary
Comes to A Close

On October 31st, seventy-five years ago the 1939 season for the New York World’s Fair came to a close. The following May it would open again for its final season but it wasn’t the same. As the war in Europe escalated the Fair’s theme changed from “Building the World of Tomorrow” in 1939 to “For Peace and Freedom” in 1940, and several of the pavilions either closed or were dismantled, as in the case of U.S.S.R.

While there have been several Expos in the United States and the last World’s Fair in Seattle in 1962. (The 1964-65 NY World’s Fair was not sanctioned by the Bureau International des Expositions) none have compared with the splendor of the 1939 NY World’s Fair.

New on the web

Plaza of Light Pylons - The Plaza of Light contained four 65-foot pylons which had 48 sculptures by Carl Paul Jennewein representing the four traditional elements: fire, earth, air, and water.

“Inbad the Ailer” - This "Comic" book was given away to visitors as a promotion for the Technicolor Motion Picture show at the Saráka exhibit in the Hall of Pharmacy.

Fountain of the Atoms and the Home Furnishings Building


Chrysler Corporation at night


Bell Telephone

Ford Motor Company Display

World's Fair Collectors Postcards Sets

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Covering 1,216 acres, in Flushing Meadows, New York, the 1939 New York World's Fair, like the legendary Phoenix rising from the ashes, was erected on what was an ash-dump. The theme, "Building the World of Tomorrow" echoed in virtually every corner of the Fair. This World's Fair was a look to the future and was planned to be "everyman's fair" where everyone would be able to see what could be attained for himself and his community.

The 1939 New York World's Fair opened on April 30, 1939 which was the 150th anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington in New York City, the nation's first capitol.

While some of the pavilions were still under construction and not yet open, that first day of the Fair was attended by 206,000 visitors.

Then President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave the opening speech while an estimated 1,000 visitors watched the opening on 200 televisions sets in various locations throughout the Fair.

Television was new, and on that day NBC's experimental station call-sign, W2XBS was change to WNBC and the birth of broadcast television began.

This site is a tribute to the people, the history, and the vision of the 1939 New York World's Fair. I hope you like it and visit often. I'd appreciate knowing what you think, and any suggestions you may have on how to make it better.

When the Fair was open

Season 1: Apr. 30, 1939 ♦ Oct. 31, 1939
Season 2: May 11, 1940 ♦ Oct. 27, 1940

Excerpts from the 1939 NY World's Fair Blog

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