Jump to content

Recommended Posts

The University of Texas at San Antonio's Institute of Texas Cultures has an exhibit up celebrating Hemisfair's 40th.

HemisFair 1968:San Antonio's Introduction to the World

Through April 5, 2009

In 1968, San Antonio invited the world to HemisFair. The event was a celebration of the "Confluence of Civilizations in the Americas," and it showcased San Antonio's position as an emerging business and cultural center between the United States and the world.

Cultural groups from more than 30 nations erected pavilions and exhibits celebrating diversity and promoting international unity. Companies on the cutting edge of technology unveiled new products that revolutionized productivity. Entertainers from across the globe amazed audiences with engaging performances and unique flair. Guests left HemisFair with special memories and stories to share for a lifetime.

HemisFair 1968: San Antonio's Introduction to the World chronicles a selection of the people, events, and controversies that played a role in bringing HemisFair to life. It offers a retrospective look at the sixties, from the way we dressed, to new advances in technology, to the national unrest that existed following the loss of national leaders. The exhibit also features previously unreleased HemisFair photos from the museum's 3.5 million image photo archive, film captured at the six-month exposition, and mementos ranging from event guides to uniforms to souvenirs.

The exhibit coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Institute of Texan Cultures, which established residence in the Texas State Exhibits pavilion for HemisFair in 1968. HemisFair 1968: San Antonio's Introduction to the World will run through April 5, 2009.

http://www.texancultures.com/museum/HemisFair68.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is very interesting. I remember Hemisfair and still have a first day cover of the Hemisfair stamp. The ideas found on this site as to why attendance fell below expectations reads like a litany of all that went terribly wrong in 1968 (Dr. King, RFK etc.). I remember that those stupid little puppets from the NYWF ended up in Texas in 1968 and I THINK that To Be Alive was shown at Hemisfair as it was at Expo 67.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL Yes, the Biard puppets were there. Quickly scanned the guide book but found no mention of "To Be Alive."

1968 was a tumultuous year and any one of the myriad of issues & conflicts could have put attendance down. Still the attendance was not that far off: 6.4 million actual and 7.2 projected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bravo to the city of San Antonio and the state of Texas. New York seems to do everything it can to erase the legacies of its Worlds Fairs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ford's Auto Parts orchestra made it to HemisFair as well. I remember thinking there were some other 1964-65 exhibits recycled but I don't have my notes handy.

It sounds like an interesting exhibit. Thanks for the heads up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to Wikipedia under the subheading of "Limited Screenings To Date"

"After a screening at the United Nations Pavilion at Expo 1967 in Montreal, Quebec, To Be Alive was only available for public screening at the Golden Rondelle Theatre at the S.C. Johnson headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin. However, the single-strip 70mm version of the film has been shown in retrospective tributes to co-director Hammid. To date, there has been no home video or DVD release of To Be Alive!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would imagine that PTU's own Fred Stern offers it for sale along with his many other high quality WF videos.

And it's also on the DVD from Extinct Attractions Club. (see list below)

http://01508f4.netsolstores.com/index.asp?...amp;Category=12

http://01508f4.netsolstores.com/index.asp?...&Category=1

(He even sells Ray Dashner's audio recordings!)

I watched Dave Oneil's entire slideshow on Flickr. Lots of interesting Disney insider stuff: http://www.flickr.com/photos/extinctattrac...ith/2435054069/

It has been interesting to watch Oneil's Extinct Attractions venture grow from a few films to an amazing venture (and ADventure). His websites are filled with interesting stuff. This one is his Blog Spot and it's got enough stuff to keep you busy all night!

http://extinctattractionsclub.blogspot.com/

------------------------------------------------------------

1964 New York World's Fair

Historical Double DVD

Over 5 hours of original films from 1964 and 1965

DVD Features

Ride the Future-rama ride from general motors!.

Original News reels in color and Black and white of the fair!

See the original Walt Disney goes to the fair TV Special

Product Description

By David Oneal

This is a real treat, un-edited and complete promotional, news, and TV shows from the 1964 World's

Fair on 2 DVDs spanning over 5 hours! This is a very amazing collection, I know you will enjoy.

Disc One

0:00:00 World’s Fair Report with Lowell Thomas (color) This is a preview of

the Fair, containing an interview with Robert Moses

0:25:40 Progress Report â€�“ The New York World’s Fair 1964-1965 (b/w) (H.V.

Kaltenborn, narrator) Another Fair preview with other Fair and City

officials

0:50:14 Unisphere-Biggest World on Earth (color) United States

Steel-produced film, includes brief history of World's Fair theme buildings

and then shows the design and build process for Unisphere

1:04:20 To the Fair (b/w)

1:30:35 Out of this World (color) While emphasizing Frigidaire’s kitchen

appliances, this film contains footage of the Futurama ride that is not in

the �“other�” Futurama film.

1:43:47 Century 21 Calling (color) This film is about the 1962 Seattle

------------------------------------------------

I would imagine that PTU's own Fred Stern offers it for sale.

World’s Fair, whose official name was "Century 21."

1:51:39 Disney at the World’s Fair (color) This is the episode of the

Wonderful World of Color.

2:42:00 to be alive! (color) The one-frame version of the Johnson’s Wax

pavilion film.

3:00:40 Highlights of the New York World’s Fair (b/w) Excerpts from NBC’s

opening night special, broadcast on April 22, 1964.

3:29:00 View From the People Wall (color) The �“Think�” show from the IBM

pavilion’s Information Machine.

3:41:47 The Searching Eye (color) Kodak pavilion film

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow!! Thanks for the heads up! I am temporarily living in Austin so I will actually be able to go to this. I was lucky enough to hang out in the lounge and have dinner in the tower last time I was down there, and it was so much fun. I heard the interiors went through some major renovation, so I dont know what it looked like previously. I also purchased a vintage Hemisfair beer mug as a souvenir of my time here in Texas, and use it every day. For soda :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Take your camera along and snap some images to share with us. B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Buffalo, St. Louis, Seattle, Montreal and now San Antonio have all hosted retrospective exhibitions about their respective fairs. Buffalo, in 2001, went all out for a city wide commemoration of the Pan American Exposition and the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society sponsored a remarkable collection of artifacts and even recreated several of the more popular exhibits from 1901.

I totally agree that the city of New York does virtually all that it can to erase its past. It is moronic and it has become a significant reason why I don't much care if I ever see the city again.

San Antonio deserves accolades for preserving the history of their fair. I would love to see that exhibition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello everyone, If you can come and visit your in for quite a treat. The Institute of Texan Cultures has not only created a walk thru exhibit but has also created a special video show about HemisFair that is shown in the dome ceiling. Back in 06' Landry's won the contract to manage the tower and put it thru an $8M dollar renovation inside and out, the ground level now includes a small cafe, gift shop, and a 4-D theater. The tower shaft was cleaned and repaired, the restaurant and lounge were remodeled to restore some of the classy dinning atmosphere that was removed during the 1990's renovation, and on the main observation level there are panels that show the history of Texas as well as two small banquet rooms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to PTU/WFC Themepark Nut! :)

Thanks for all the information you gave me the other day.

VIVA HemisFair!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't much care if I ever see the city again.

:( I could not disagree with you more. :(

I LOVE New York City! Lived there twice and hope to relocate permanently. Outside of Berlin no other city has ever engaged and thrilled me as much. Sadly I only get there about 6 times a year. There’s always something fresh and exciting going on – 24/7. I LOVE NY :D :rolleyes: :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the heads-up on this. Hemisfair was my first world's fair and I have very vivid memories of it. One of the great things planners did was to integrate existing 19th and early 20th century structures into the site as restaurants, boutiques, etc. Too bad the site fell into such disrepair and little has done to use those rennovated structures since the fair's close.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose I have just become cynical about NYC and NYS. I elected to build a life in upstate NY only to watch the stunning mismanagement of state government drive virtually all significant business out of the region. The taxes continue to rise and one by one, friends and family leave the state for better opportunities elsewhere. Despite the state's incredible natural beauty and opportunities, it continues to hemmorage people and jobs to other parts of the nation.

When I look at a state that faces a 15 billion dollar budget deficit in 2009 and the related budget cuts and tax increases and then I see articles in the Times describing massive cost overruns at the two new stadiums, I guess that is what makes me feel so negative about the city. There are no similar upstate projects. The collaspse of so many Wall Street firms will cost the state 20 billion dollars in tax revenues in 2009. I don't see NYC as a cultural destination or dynamic center of progress that I once did. I guess I see a huge money pit that was once the Empire State and the prognosis is not very good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Despite the state's incredible natural beauty and opportunities, it continues to hemorrhage people and jobs to other parts of the nation.

You think New York state is bad take a gander at Ohio. Brain drain, poverty, no jobs, no urban revitalization, political corruption, growing divide between rich & poor, racial tensions, voter fraud etc. etc. etc. Cleveland is totally and completely dead, not dying but dead. If I didn't have family obligations here I'd be long gone. This state has nothing to offer me, all my work is on the east or west coasts. New York state has a lot more going for it, much more than Ohio does, believe me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think a lot of it has to do with priorities of our species in general. Sports stadiums seem to be the most important thing in our culture while libraries and historic sites rot. It is more important to build new (quickly and cheaply built) mega malls, and hotels, while letting our infrastructure fall apart. I am more and more disappointed in humanity the older I get. But you know me, I can't complain :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe this is a problem that is affecting the entire northeast and upper mid west. I thought Cleveland had enjoyed a renaissance of sorts with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for example. The current recession is going to be tough for many of the old industrial states. In any event, there is no doubt in my mind that the priorities of NYC will not include preservation or renovation. And the city will continue to make great demands on Upstate including tax revenue, electrical power lines, new water supplies and the like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cleveland did peak for a bit in the early 90s (while I was in NYC naturally) but has been on a steady decline ever since.

The rock hall is a joke, Cleveland totally dropped the ball. I M Pei’s structure, while beautiful on a postcard, has zero functionality. Its confused layout on multi-levels is a true hindrance. The teenagers of the 50s & 60s, who have the greatest emotional stake in the RRHF, have trouble navigating the hall. Which is sad because it’s mostly their history, their stories.

The majority of the exhibits and lay out is as it was in 1995, seriously. Exhibit space is overwhelming, dark, crowded and limited. On a recent visit, our guide told us only 15% of the RRHF’s collection is on display. Yet there's space for Hendrix’s childhood drawings, Jim Morrison’s cub scout uniform and a car Elvis once gave somebody???? I totally don’t get it. Then they’re building a library a mile away from the rock hall. (insert expletive here) :blink: :unsure: :blink: :unsure:

Edwin Schlossberg’s design firm has contracted with the RRHF but it’ll be years before their recommendations are approved and in place granted the RRHF’s BOD likes them.

Take a gander at Cleveland.com and look at the headlines to get a real view of the dead city and struggling state. Not a pretty picture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The University of Texas at San Antonio's Institute of Texas Cultures has an exhibit up celebrating Hemisfair's 40th.

HemisFair 1968:San Antonio's Introduction to the World

Through April 5, 2009

In 1968, San Antonio invited the world to HemisFair. The event was a celebration of the "Confluence of Civilizations in the Americas," and it showcased San Antonio's position as an emerging business and cultural center between the United States and the world.

Cultural groups from more than 30 nations erected pavilions and exhibits celebrating diversity and promoting international unity. Companies on the cutting edge of technology unveiled new products that revolutionized productivity. Entertainers from across the globe amazed audiences with engaging performances and unique flair. Guests left HemisFair with special memories and stories to share for a lifetime.

HemisFair 1968: San Antonio's Introduction to the World chronicles a selection of the people, events, and controversies that played a role in bringing HemisFair to life. It offers a retrospective look at the sixties, from the way we dressed, to new advances in technology, to the national unrest that existed following the loss of national leaders. The exhibit also features previously unreleased HemisFair photos from the museum's 3.5 million image photo archive, film captured at the six-month exposition, and mementos ranging from event guides to uniforms to souvenirs.

The exhibit coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Institute of Texan Cultures, which established residence in the Texas State Exhibits pavilion for HemisFair in 1968. HemisFair 1968: San Antonio's Introduction to the World will run through April 5, 2009.

http://www.texancultures.com/museum/HemisFair68.htm

The fun part of the 40th anniversary celebration was that on April 6, 2008 the Institute of Texan Cultures hosted a day long event on the grounds. The ITC, the Tower of the Americas, & UNAM had free admission. HemisFair park was already buzzing with activity with San Antonio hosting the NCAA Final Four, Coca Cola and original participant at HemisFair 68, was already hosting an array of activities and also had a performing stage to entertain visitors for the final four. On April 6th the stage was used for a 40th anniversary presentation. Some of the people on stage for the event were Lila Cockrell (City council woman 1963 - 1970), Bill Sinkin (HemisFair president 1963, Exec. Vice President 1964 - 1968), Tom Frost (International Relations), Carlos Freyman (Latin American Relations) and a few others that I can't think of at the moment. After the 30-45 minute event, a precession walked thru HemisFair park to the ITC, where UTSA president Ricardo Romo gave a speech and participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of the year long HemisFair exhibit. After the ribbon cutting visitors were lead into the ITC to see the newly created video show in the ceiling dome, and the exhibit. A fun filled afternoon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just came from this exhibit at Hemisfair Park. It was very nice. I took 70+ photos of the whole exhibit, someone here asked for pix... I cannot remember who. Obviously I will not be posting them all here, but will chose a few choice images to share when I get the chance to download them off my camera. They had uniforms from various exhibits, and Lady Bird's dress she wore on opening day. They had an IBM Selectric, and a 1964 Bell picturephone there, even credited it to 1964, stopping short of saying it was a hand me down exhibit from NYWF. There were some sad parts too... destroyed neighborhood and displaced residents to build the fair. At least they are acknowledging the darker side of the event, which I am sure they did not do in 1968.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the pix you ordered! I have many others, closeups of the informational boards explaining the exhibits, etc. I also took a few closeups of the picturephone, from different angles including behind it if anyone is interested.

The last pic with the Tower of the Americas and the flags is real! I took it after walking out of the exhibit today!!

post-681-1228104761_thumb.jpg

post-681-1228104794_thumb.jpg

post-681-1228104834_thumb.jpg

post-681-1228104872_thumb.jpg

post-681-1228104906_thumb.jpg

post-681-1228104943_thumb.jpg

post-681-1228104980_thumb.jpg

post-681-1228105011_thumb.jpg

post-681-1228105724_thumb.jpg

post-681-1228105761_thumb.jpg

post-681-1228105924_thumb.jpg

post-681-1228105950_thumb.jpg

post-681-1228105986_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the photos. They are as close as I'll get to seeing this exhibit. Really brought back memories of my first world's fair.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the pictures. The one with the woman being evicted sure was sad. You don't usually associate things like that with what it takes to build a fair.

I'd love to see the Picturephone shots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×