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.
It became even more surreal, I think, by the mid-1970s when huge portions of Ile Notre Dame were closed and/or demolished due to the construction of the Olympic Rowing Basin for the 1976 games. I remember riding the Mini Rail near those abandoned pavilions closest to the Canada pavilion. It was strange, fascinating and a bit creepy.
And when I think about it, it is incredible to recall that during two visits to the Olympic games, I parked on Ile Ste Helene in a huge lot near the public swimming complex (next to the Expo Metro station). I mean, we just drove there, parked, toured some of the pavilions open on Ile Ste Helene, rode the Mini Rail and then took the Metro to Olympic Stadium. I cannot recall what exit we took to park on the Island but I think it was off of the Jaques Cartier Bridge.