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Hoodlock

Unbeatable answers

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1. World's Fair Zip Code was 11380; there was confusion at first all the mail was being sent back.

2. The password 'bulrushes' got you into the fair free if you were a Mohawk. Mohawks who wanted to visit the New York World's Fair were presumably entitled to do so without paying, provided they knew the password. Available is the original land deed for the site, signed on April 14, 1684, to wit; "ye Indians hath reserved Liberty to cut bullrushes for them and their heyres for ever in any place within ye Tract." The land concerned embraces "all Meadows, feeding marshes, marsh groundes, woodes, underwoodes, waters and ponds… scittuate upon ye North Shore of Long Island knowne by ye name of fflushing within Queenes County."

3. The fair was to be extended for one week so Pope Paul VI could see it when he came to the UN at the end of October.

4. 'Here Comes the Mad Martians' was a mixed media show with live actors and actors on film (ala Dupont) and was located at Transportation and Travel Pavilion.

5. Texas Hall of Music and the Wonder World closed on August 1, 1964 Moses was unconcerned, calling them 'Speculators of the Amusement Area.'

6. 'Summer Time Revue' was the only Rock and Roll show at the fair, Moses quickly shut them down.

7. Chrysler's 'World's Biggest Car' license plate read "VIP Jr." it was a NY plate complete with expiration sticker.

8. After July 2, 1965 under pressure from the NAACP, Chrysler's Show-go-round was changed. They took offense to the minstrel sounding words sung in 'Dem Bolts'. The words were change from 'Dem' to 'Them' and from 'De' to 'The'. They also changed the puppet from a blue color to a yellow one.

9. Minnesota closed on the forth of July 1965.

10. "Avoid Crowds, Go To The New York World's Fair" could be seen on a billboard in Des Moines, IA. (Midwesterners again Bill) tongue.gif

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Bruce, did the Minnesota Pavilion close for good on 7/4/65 or just for the Holiday? Did your source say WHY that billboard was posted in Des Moines? I've been to Iowa. Can't understand why they'd be worried about crowds! Lot's of open space there in Iowa. Nice state, but lots of corn fields, that's for sure.

Bill

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What was the story behind that Des Moines billboard, Bruce? I know the lower-then- expected turnout was a bit of a running joke in '65 perpetuated by Johnny Carson on TV and others but who would gpo through the expense and trouble of a billboard?

Speaking of turnout the 70,000,000 figure always seemed a bit arbitrary, I once read an account as to how the figure was reached (basically the '39-'40 figures adjusted for population and, even more tenuous, easier accessibility by car from a larger area). I always felt that RM got hoisted on his own petard by promoting such a huge figure , perhaps that was the figure at which the gate revenues would have repaid the bondholders so he could claim nothing else.

Even at 70,000,000 any profit probably would have been illusory. According to Robert Caro a great deal of the City's contribution was not in the Fair budget, being hidden in various other departmental items.

At 50,000,000 over two seasons, I believe it was still the most heavily attended exposition up to it's time and most of the major pavilions ran at or close to capacity.

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With an attendance of about 50 million in 52 total weeks of Fair operation, that's an average of one-million per week. As I remember, the entrance ticket for an adult was only $2. As I recollect, parking was free. I would certainly have paid $3.00 at the gate with no objection, plus a modest parking fee. The NYWF Corp. should have known that the $1 difference at the gate would not have had any serious downside regarding attendance. They would have made money, unquestionably, at that ticket price.

So, they didn't make any money but where's the list of all of the other World's Fairs that did make money?

By the way, out of the 50 million attendees, only 2,500 can acquire the audio archive of the NYWF64-65. It's a LIMITED EDITION.

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Seattle's fair made money. I think I have the exact numbers at home.

A blurb in the 1964/1965 Guide points out how much bigger and better the NYWF was compared to the 1962 fair. Pride goes before a fall.

I think that losing money is just the nature of the beast.

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It's hard to believe now but those admission prices, and Fair prices generally were considered expensive in '64/65. Moses was under pressure to cut prices almost from the beginning, finally doing so in '65 I believe, in the face of declining attendance. Fair expenses were excessive and based on revenue expectations set unreasonably high when very strong advance sales suggested that the 70M figure was actually too conservative.

The only area of the Fair that had a real attendance problem was the Lake Amusement area probably because fairgoers were not interested in carnival-type attractions. I haven't heard anyone yet fondly remember the Jaycopters, Carousel Park, etc. Even in that area where there was quality there was also success as in the hugely popular Fla. Water Show. Elsewhere most major exhibitors were faced with too many visitors on prime days not too few. As far as fairgoers would have been concerned given the long lines (2+ hours) at popular exhibits throwing 20,000,000 more into the mix might have caused more problems then it solved.

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While we're on the topic of revenue versus expenses, the most amazing thing I learned about the Fair by reading Robert Caro's biography of Moses was that all of the proceeds from the advance sale of tickets was booked against the first season! The Fair Corp. spent accordingly as the money rolled in in '64.

All of a sudden, here comes the 1965 season with all of it's associated expenses and the money for advance gate receipts had been spent the year before. Moses watched the turnstyles click with no income from the clicks. And was he mad!

If I remember right, when Moses found out what had happened, he called in his Financial manager and spent a couple of hours alone with him. After the meeting was over, the guy had been fired. He left ashen faced and died a few weeks later. Oh my.

Just another thing about this Fair that makes it so interesting. Where were their heads? It seems odd that Moses didn't look a little closer at the Balance sheet and ask where all the money was coming from in '64 since the attendance was not at all what was anticipated by the end of the season!

It would be interesting to have some of you who might have remembered the financial debacle that was the 1965 season, comment about it! I'd be interested to hear what you remember of the feeding frenzy the press had with that little tidbit! eek.gif

Bill

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