There is a treasure trove of World’s Fair memorabilia in my office. It’s the result of a cyberspace hunt by Father Frank Mann. You can have a piece of this history by participating in our summer project of remembering the Fair that took place in Flushing Meadows from 1964 to 1965.
It was a time of great hope, and the Fair’s theme of Peace Through Understanding spoke to those aspirations. People’s memories of the Fair were happy ones, and today, 50 years later, there is a desire to recall those happier times.
So, we have invited Tablet readers to share their photos of the World’s Fair with us. We’re especially looking for pictures from the Vatican Pavilion or ones that show students in Catholic school uniforms. But we’ll take any photos you have.
Everyone who participates will have their name put into a drawing for the memorabilia that we have collected.
About two months ago, I, Father Frank Mann and Currents correspondent Katie Breidenbach went out to the fairgrounds in Queens to rediscover some of our favorite sites. Naturally, we were drawn to where the Vatican Pavilion was located. The site is marked by a bench that commemorates the fact that Pope Paul VI visited the Fair during his historic visit to New York and the U.N. in October, 1965. While there, Father Mann recounted having met the pope at the fair, and he has written down those memories that we will share with you in a future edition.
Naturally, we took photos at the Unisphere, the symbol of the Fair, and we examined some sculptures that remain around the park. It was amazing how easily we could point to where the IBM exhibit was and the Bell telephone building, as well as General Motors and Ford Motor Co.
Left over from the 1939 Fair was the New York City building that later served as the temporary headquarters for the U.N. and then housed the panorama of the city for the ’64 exposition. That building is now a museum where you can purchase World’s Fair souvenirs.
Father Mann was so enthusiastic about the Fair that we decided to send him on his own Internet search for souvenirs. Hello, eBay! A few days later, Father Mann was in the office with all the stuff he had managed to find.
So, we have a beautiful collector’s plate with the Unisphere emblazoned in the center, surrounded by depictions of various buildings such as Eastman Kodak and Electric Power and Light. We have a World’s Fair film library video, a mini-statue of the Pieta that was displayed at the Vatican Pavilion, first day of issue stamped envelopes from the Vatican Post Office, a sheet of U.S. commemorative stamps paying tribute to the Fair, guide books to the Vatican Pavilion and a record album of music played at the Vatican Pavilion.
You can be a winner and get a piece of history. All you have to do is send us an email with your World Fair’s pictures attached, and your name will be entered if we use your submission. Send them to me at email@example.com.
We will display your contributions during the summer months.