New York World’s Fair – 1965

1965 was a year of promise and despair. The Space Race was on. Civil Rights were on everyone’s mind. And the 1964 New York World’s Fair was in it’s second season.

This is the first of an entire collection of slides taken in 1965 at the New York World’s Fair that I have. It’s among a set of Disney and Expo 67′s photos that I’ll also be posting over time.

New York World's Fair

Opening Day

The fair was not an official World’s Fair due to a variety of reasons – namely the US already had the Seattle’s World Fair in 1962 and couldn’t have another within ten years. The fair was organized in a fit of nostalgia by New York area businessmen who had attended the 1939/1940 World’s Fair and wanted their children to experience the same thing. Robert Moses was tapped to head the corporation to run the fair, and saw the opportunity to finish what he had started with the 1939/1940 World’s Fair in turning Flushing Meadows from a marsh land and garbage dump into a city park.

As the fair was held at the beginnings of the “Space Age,” it was technology heavy. A large NASA presence was there along with many associated industries. General Motors had a hugely popular display called “Futurama,” that had miniature dioramas showing fair-goers what the “near future” held. The fair was also the first time many people saw a computer. Many other large technology companies (interesting to note how many are defunct now,) Countries, States, and even Billy Graham had pavilions at the fair.

Walt Disney also had a major presence at the World’s Fair. Not as an actual exhibitor, but he designed four major displays and perfected his “Audio-Animatronics” at the fair. One of these displays, “It’s a Small World,” is still one of Disney’s best known attractions having been rebuilt at all five Disney Parks. And the “Carousel of Progress,” commissioned by General Electric, is at Walt Disney World. It’s still running strong although it has been updated slightly.