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Bill Cotter

New story on failed Long Beach, CA plans for a fair

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Interesting but what is meant by "third largest world's fair"?  It cannot mean acreage or attendance.  It is a confusing statement.  The other part of the article that  is confusing is the fact that the battle for a 1967 world's fair was between Moscow and Montreal.  I know Long Beach proposed an idea for a fair and it is even recorded in the 1965 Britannica Book of The Year.  However, was the idea even remotely realistic?  Moscow received the BIE nod in 1960 but withdrew in the spring of 1962 and Montreal grabbed the opportunity to host what became Expo 67.  How realistic was any other proposal?

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Jim, the Long Beach Public Library houses all the records pertaining to this planned event.  The official title of the fair was "The Planet of Man Exhibition."  I believe the attempt was real.  There are detailed site plans in the collection.  They go as far as to indicate on-site transportation, the fact that the fair's main entrance would have been at the amusement zone so that area could remain open after-hours with the rest of the grounds closed off and that several larger buildings would have been repurposed as Port of Los Angeles facilities when the fair closed.  Someday I need to go in and see if they will allow me to take photos of some of the records.  In reading over some of the archives, it appears the planners knew they were up against a hurdle in obtaining BIE recognition due to Expo 67 but planned to go ahead anyway, citing the fact that New York had held its fair without official approval.

 

23 hours ago, Bill Cotter said:

Wish I had known about this ahead of time!!

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Thank you for that information, expoboy.  You make some good points and the 1960s was a decade when Fairs remained popular and cities saw them as a route to international recognition and economic benefit.  It was probably the last decade, in North America, that such ideas existed.  Do you know what exists on the site today?  I mean, what exists there, today?

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Jim, it's part of the Port of Los Angeles.  If you Google a map of Long Beach, look for Pier J.  The planners saw it as an opportunity to hold a fair while providing for post-fair facilities for the Port.  The Queen Mary is moored at the north end of Pier J as a point of reference.  I really need to hit the library archives.  Our main library facility is scheduled for demolition so I'm not sure if that information will be available during the construction of the new facility.

 

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