Staged to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal, and drawing over 19 million visitors in only nine months, the Pan-Pacific International Expo rose like a literal jewel from the ashes of San Francisco's 1906 Earthquake and Fire.
A Century of Progress International Exposition was held in Chicago, Illinois from 1933 to 1934 to celebrate the city's centennial. The theme of the fair was technological innovation. Its motto was "Science Finds, Industry Applies, Man Conforms".
The 1939-40 New York World's Fair, located on the current site of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, was one of the largest world's fairs of all time. The fair ran for two seasons and over 44 million people attended.
The Golden Gate International Exposition was held in San Francisco, California to celebrate the opening of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. The exposition's first season ran from February 18, 1939 through October 29, 1939 and its second season was from May 25, 1940 through September 29, 1940.
The 1964/1965 New York World’s Fair, located on the current site of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The fair ran for two seasons and took place without sanctioning from the Bureau of International Expositions.
Expo 67 was held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada from April 27 to October 29, 1967. It was considered to be the most successful World's Fair of the 20th century, with over 50 million visitors and 62 nations participating.
Twelve years before the Fair, I was in the Mediterranean with the Sixth Fleet. That was the year of the "Great Cephalonia Earthquake," a truly disastrous event for this Ionian Sea Island off the west coast of Greece. I was on the scene two days after the main (7.2) quake that literally distroyed the island and caused the emigration of half its citizens. Using a professional press camera (the well-known Speed Graphic) I recorded some of the devastation. After 65 years (come August 12th) of them sitting in a binder in my bookcase, I delivered these photographs to the Historical and Cultural Museum in the capital city of Argostoli, where I did most of my photography (and where there were 400 deaths and 900 injuries). My package, which included about 30 original photographs and other materials, was received with considerable enthusiasm by the curators. Although Cephalonia's history goes back to legendary times, this museum (part of the city library) covers about 200 years, up to the time of the earthquake. Almost everything on the island was newly built since then. I thought you might like to see a sample of the images from one of my first adventures with a camera.
This is the back wall of a four-story building, taken from the front of the structure.
I was surprised to learn that this building was the city's library, one of the few rebuilt along original lines. In 1968 the Historical Museum was added in the lower floor of the building, with an entrance to the right of the stairs, now celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. I was also surprised and honored to learn that the museum would keep my package as I designed it, with added translations from English to Greek.
By the way, the movie 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin,' with Nicholas Cage and Penelope Cruz, was filmed on Cephalonia, covering their war-time occupation by the Italians and Germans, and ending with the same earthquake I photographed. Based on the book 'Corelli's Mandolin,' one of the experts consulted by the author was the founder of the museum itself.Now a tourist attraction, Argostoli's 2000 year-old history literally ended in 1953, and everything since then is another world. I received, as gifts, two substantial books published by the museum, detailing the early years and the earthquake.