Remembering the 1965 New York World’s Fair

The 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair

I’ve only been to New York City one time, back in 1965. I was nine-years-old. Note to parents and grandparents of boys — to be honest I don’t have vivid memories about much.

I do remember the Statue of Liberty, the gold statue in Rockefeller Center’s lower Plaza and riding the subway.

My parents, Floyd and Ida Clark and I lived in Port Huron, Mich. and we were meeting dad’s sister, Bernice (Clark) and her husband, Lee Miller to check out the New York’s World Fair.

According to the new book, The 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair by Bill Cotter and Bill Young, the fair was intended to showcase the city’s economic strength and to attract new businesses.

They missed the mark with a nine-year-old boy, but I’m sure it impressed most grown up workers.

I was initially impressed by the fair’s theme symbol, the Unisphere which was the focal point of the Federal and States Area. With a diameter of 120 feet and weighing 900,000 pounds, the Unisphere is the largest man-made representation of the Earth ever built. It is one of the few structures from the fair still on the site.

I also remember the T-shaped Port Authority Heliport and the moon-shaped dome of the Transportation & Travel pavilion. Chryslers Pentastar building and the US Royal Giant Tire Ferris wheel (I’m pretty sure I didn’t ride it).

We toured the main part of the pavilion, Carousel of Progress, which was created by Walt Disney. It was pretty cool, as was “It’s a Small World,” a ride-through attraction also by Walt.

By far, the best Disney venture, to this pre-teen boy was a ride in a brand new Ford “Magic Skyway” convertible where you went through time from the beginning to what man imagined the future would hold. The cars carried riders through the days of dinosaurs, including a fierce battle between a stegosaurus and a Tyrannosaurus rex. Viewers were then introduced to primitive mankind, where discoveries such as fire and the wheel were mixed with dangers that included menacing bears and mastodons. Who could forget that?

The new book from Arcadia Publishing brought back so many memories, and areas I wished I’d paid attention to then.

The book is filled cover-to-cover with world’s fair photographs, some of which have been displayed in museums throughout the United States.

To order this book or find out more about Arcadia Publishing, call 1-888-313-2665.

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