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Jim

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About Jim

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    RCA Color Central
  • Birthday 12/27/1951

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    I live in a small town in Upstate New York, south of Syracuse.
  1. Chicago was a crazy place in those years. Dillinger became a rather popular attraction, himself, in July of 1934 when he was gunned down at the Biograph Theatre. Thousands were allowed to view his corpse at the Cook County Morgue. Great information, Randy. I think it's cool your mother was named for Shirley Temple. I'll bet she was one of tens of thousands of little girls whose mothers loved America's Dimple Darling.
  2. I would like to be able to go back in time and spend a day at the Century of Progress Exposition. That GM building was massive.
  3. Touring the Official Map #2

    I don't believe I've ever really studied this map before. I've looked at it but I never realized the intricate detail prior to this. Tonight, I traced the route we took when my family entered the Fair in 1965. We entered at the Peter Stuyvesant Gate (3) and walked around the loop and I can still recall seeing the Space Park as we entered but I have absolutely no memory of the Hall of Science. What I do remember, however, is a man raking the few leaves that had begun to fall in September of 1965 along the Avenue of Science in front of Ford where that row of trees appears on the map. I still remember thinking that in another month or so, it was all going to be torn down and pounded into rubble but that one man raking leaves made it all seem so permanent. I suppose even the trees which were newly planted just a year or two earlier and dropping their leaves in 1965 are gone along with everything else. I recall bits and pieces of the Ford and Chrysler exhibits but I can still see that workman as plain as day as he took pride in maintaining the grounds of a pavilion that was nearing the end of its useful existence.
  4. Wanted: 1939 World's Fair Bracelet

    I enjoy collecting 1939 NYWF items but I've never seen anything like this bracelet. That is a remarkable souvenir. I hope you find what you are looking for and that you do some posting in this site. There may be some members who could help you find another bracelet.
  5. Flushing Meadows 1972 #5

    I don't believe anyone is proposing the LIE be removed or replaced with street level intersections. I didn't. My point was that when it was built, it bulldozed its way right through Nassau County with little regard to its impact on communities and neighborhoods within those communities. That method of expressway construction would have a much more difficult time today. Although the entire length of the LIE is not an interstate highway, it is nearing the end of its useful life as are thousand of miles of interstate highways across the nation. Many are now over fifty years old. As plans are formulated for how to repair, restore, renovate or whatever they plan to do with the LIE which is often called the "world's longest parking lot," there will be far more taxpayer input than there was fifty or sixty years ago.
  6. Touring the Official Map #1

    Amazing images! This is probably a dumb question, but was the map updated for the second year? It must have been but do you have any comparison images of the 1964 world's fair pavilion which became the Churchill Center in the second year perhaps?
  7. Flushing Meadows 1972 #5

    It's probably safe to say the Park was much worse off in the late 1970s than in the 1950s. This may have to do with the fact that in 1959 there were few relics of the 1939 Fair and only one major structure in the main part of the Park (the NYC Building). The Park may have looked fine in 1967 when Moses turned it over to the City but within just a few years it was a mess. He left huge relics from the second Fair all serving as sitting ducks for vandals, vagrants and anyone who just wanted to break something. The Park was trashed. And there was virtually no money to provide adequate protection for the place and no police or security to do it. A good image might be the original clean Westinghouse Time Capsule monument in 1963 and the newer one, covered with paint, just a few years after the Fair ended. Another image would be the vast, empty, vandalized Federal Building and graffiti on the Unisphere itself. Then consider the NYS Pavilion still rotting and lacking function or purpose over fifty years after the Fair ended. I don't know if those major highways would have been built without a Fair as impetus. However, the original plan was for the new baseball team to play in Brooklyn to replace the lost Dodgers. It was Moses who wanted the Mets in Queens and, over loud protests, he got his way and a stadium. It was Moses who pushed for the LIE, an expressway that absolutely cut Long Island in half and allowed for more urban sprawl through Nassau County. Most residents detest the LIE. Moses also wanted a bridge from Rye to Oyster Bay but public outcry fortunately killed it. Moses wanted expressways everywhere there was an open space with no regard for neighborhoods, history or quality of life. The Cross Bronx Expressway, considered the most congested highway in the nation, is a perfect example of his attitude. He wanted to do the same thing with the infamous Lower Manhattan Expressway which would have wiped out SoHo and Little Italy but was halted by public protests. The guy never drove a car but he made sure there were plenty of highways for those who did. We now know, sixty years later, that this was not the best policy nor the solution for every urban issue.
  8. By the Numbers

    The quality of your scans is remarkable, Ralph.
  9. Flushing Meadows 1972 #5

    It would have. However, while all of the NYC parks took a hit in the 1970s, I suspect Flushing Meadow was hit the hardest. The Fair's financial losses resulted in an unfinished park with two gigantic legacies nobody knew what to do with (NYS and the Federal pavilion) and there was no desire to do much of anything more to the place. The tens of millions the State and City had spent on two Fairs, however, became something of a symbol of how freely career politicians had tossed taxpayer monies at projects that were not only supposed to bring financial gain to the region (NYC in particular) but to private investors as well. That second part did not sit well with many New Yorkers as the City's financial problems became evident by 1970. When the second Fair closed, there was good riddance attitude by many who only saw the financial losses as proof of poor leadership and nothing more.
  10. Now Hear This!

    Ralph, do you remember where you were walking while recording these sounds and voices? They are still so alive, so vibrant nearly 55 years later.
  11. Inside the USA Pavilion

    There is a close up view of these guitars in the Henry Charles Fletcher film of Expo 67. This display inside the USA Pavilion appears at about 5:30 in the You Tube film. If you haven't seen this film, it is quite wonderful. There is no audio but his amateur video is a remarkable account of the spectacular pavilions, the crowds and the excitement of Expo.
  12. HABITAT 67

    Twenty years ago I took my step son to Montreal. We toured everywhere and he listened to too many stories about Expo, I suspect. We were in Vieux Montreal one afternoon and walked the length of Quai King Edward which is not far from Notre Dame de Montreal. I don't quite recall why we did this other than it was a warm summer day. As we approached the end of the quai, we could see much of the length of Cite du Havre to the right and there was Habitat in all of its glory. The kid was about 19, I think, but he was blown away by the sight (as was I). After that, he was far more interested in hearing more about Expo and the structures that had once existed. I pointed out that Ile Ste. Helene was right there in front of us as well. Our next stop was the Expo Islands.
  13. By the Numbers

    Ralph, here is my opinion: During the past few months I have been fighting an increasingly aggressive neurological problem. Some days have been very difficult for me. This website has meant a great deal to me since it first began. I am fascinated by world's fairs, history of all sorts and there are knowledgeable and very considerate people here. Your photographic and textual contributions have absolutely enriched this site and brightened so many of my days. I have looked forward to finding your photos and your written comments every day because they are so unique and informative and because they allow me to escape from the difficulties I'm facing. I often think of your interior photos of the Ireland Pavilion, for example. They brought back memories of my father who loved that exhibit and who died suddenly just two months after our Fair trip. So, I am grateful to you beyond any words I can write here. I truly mean this. Anything you may also wish to share or are able to share would be important to me. Also, the twelve minute recording of people in the NYWF crowd is true history. Such a recording is an incredible unfiltered, uncensored primary source of information. It's just the sort of find any historian would treasure. I am so glad you found this site and I extend my most sincere gratitude to you, Ralph. Please keep posting. Jim
  14. Thank you, Roger, you've given me more insight. I love your phrase, American invasion. It must have felt like that. And I love the description of Montrealers "invading" their Expo site every day. They must have done just that and look at the incredible results. I will add one more thought. I am one of millions of Americans who "invaded" Montreal in 1967 and who fell in love with that city and with Canada.
  15. In truth, the Quebec separatist movement was not remotely active in 1967. Canadians often refer to 1967 as "the last good year." The Parti Quebecois did not yet exist and eight months after Expo ended its run, Pierre Trudeau, a remarkable combination of Anglophone and Francophone Canada and his Liberals were swept into office. Mr Trudeau once said while speaking to a crowd at the Forum in Montreal: "My name is Pierre Elliott Trudeau. I am Canada," in reference to his English middle name and French last name. There was no anti-American sentiment in Quebec to speak of. There were anti-Vietnam War sentiments, but no episodes of anti-Americanism I've ever heard of or read about. Expo was heavily marketed to the US Northeast and hundreds of thousands of US citizens converged on Montreal and were warmly welcomed. When Mrs. Kennedy and, earlier, Senator Robert Kennedy visited Expo, tens of thousands of Canadians cheered them. Even LBJ received a warm welcome. US television shows broadcast from Expo throughout 1967. Three US states had pavilions at Expo. Americans learned a great deal about Canada that year and US visitors were treated with great respect. The license plates, the year before, still read "La Belle Province"--a welcoming greeting. For one year they read Expo 67 and Confederation. They would return to La Belle Province for a few more years before Je Me Souviens appeared on the tags--a clear reference to the French history of Quebec many Francophones believed had been lost on the Plains of Abraham during the Seven Years (French and Indian) War. It would be incorrect to confuse Canadian pride with anti-American sentiment. Expo gave Canadians a new sense of self. They had a brand new flag; it was their centennial year and Expo sparked a dynamism Canada had never really felt before. That nation of 20 million people had pulled off the absolute impossible. They built an exposition that shattered attendance records and became the most significant world exposition of the Twentieth Century. Canada had emerged on the world stage. Almost any Canadian would say that two precise moments defined Canada in the 20th Century: The 1917 Battle of Vimy Ridge (fifty years prior to Expo) and Expo itself. If Canadians preferred Expo's style and focus to that of the New York Fair which had failed to attract the predicted crowds, that was not anti-Americanism. It was a good practical decision. Rather than pavilions celebrating American corporate achievements, Expo focused on Canadian interests and international cooperation on an epic scale. Evidence of the sense of nationalism felt by Canadians, including those who lived in Quebec, would be the outrage when Charles de Gaulle shouted "Vive le Quebec Libre" from the Montreal City Hall in July of 1967 and, while some Francophones cheered him, he was bashed by the Quebec and Ottawa government, the press and asked to leave Canada. He did the next day. Things changed after 1967 just as they did in the US. The last two years of the decade were turbulent and 1970 was violent (Kent State in the US, and the murder of Pierre Laporte whose body was actually found at Man and His World in an automobile trunk). It was the terrorist group, the FLQ, which claimed responsibility and PM Trudeau instituted martial law in Montreal. The Parti-Quebecois formed and tried to lead Quebec out of Canada but was often thwarted by Mr Trudeau who made Canada bilingual, allowed for special recognition of Quebec cultural differences, gave Canada a Charter of Rights and Freedoms and made Canada a Federation for the first time. I do not know about the impact of the separatist movement in Quebec on the rest of the US, but it gained significant attention in the US Northeast and NYS in particular. An independent Quebec, even though it would have likely included the St. Lawrence River Valley and no more (not even Montreal which twice voted to reject separation) would have had profound impact on trade, the Seaway, hydroelectric power (Marcy South originates in Quebec), tourism, rail traffic--you name it--on New York State and its 20 million people. I've taught Canadian history, so this explains my comments here. Also, I visited both expositions. I was most fortunate to have had two such experiences. I had a good time in New York. I enjoyed it very much although I knew, at 13, that there was just too much corporate hype and very few international exhibits. But Expo took my breath away when I was 15. Montreal was the coolest place I had ever visited. I got to see more of the world than I have been able to see since then. I loved Expo.
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