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        World’s Fair Memories | The Smallest City to Host a World's Fair

        The smallest city to ever host a World's Fair, how did Spokane do it?  

        The fair site was a jumble of railroad tracks and bridges obscuring the Spokane River from view. A gasoline shortage threatened to keep travelers at home. The Cold War discouraged even the Russians from coming.

        Expo '74 President King Cole leads a discussion with many of the major players who brought the world to Spokane, including then-mayor David Rodgers. A refreshing reminder of what the power of civic action and leadership can accomplish.

         

        World’s Fair Memories | Introduction

        The production of a World’s Fair helped revitalize the city of Spokane in the early 1970s.

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        World’s Fair Memories | Quest for Revitalization

        Expo ’74 was the culmination of a fifteen year revitalization effort in Spokane, Washington.

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        World’s Fair Memories | Deciding on a World’s Fair

        In 1973, Spokane planned a city-wide celebration as part of its revitalization efforts but shifted to producing a World’s Fair, which would have a greater lasting impact on the community.

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        World’s Fair Memories | Negotiating with the Railroads

        As a result of successful negotiations, the railroads in downtown Spokane were relocated to make room for the creation of the World Fair site.

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        World’s Fair Memories | The Bond Issue

        Though a location was secured for Expo ’74, a city bond had to be approved in order to fund the infrastructure and site improvements for the fair.

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        World’s Fair Memories | Construction

        Construction of the World’s Fair site continued through the deadline and beyond.

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        World’s Fair Memories | Opening Day Memories

        The organizers of Expo ‘74 recall the spectacular opening day of the fair which drew a crowd of 85,000, double the size of the crowd for the opening day of the Seattle World Fair.

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        World’s Fair Memories | The Little City that Could

        The “little” city of Spokane pulled off a World’s Fair that was anchored by an environmental theme.

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        World’s Fair Memories | Entertainment

        The inclusion of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the support of Bob Hope gave credence to the fair’s entertainment lineup and encouraged other entertainers and musical groups to participate in the fair.

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        World’s Fair Memories | Domestic and Foreign Exhibitors

        There were nine foreign exhibitors and numerous domestic exhibitors at Expo '74. At 55,000 square feet, the Soviet Union had the largest exhibit at the fair.

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        World’s Fair Memories | The Soviet Union, the Philippines, & Australia

        The organizers of Expo ‘74 recount the unique experiences faced by delegates from the Soviet Union, the Philippines, and Australia at the fair.

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        World’s Fair Memories | Personal Impact

        Expo ’74 had a personal impact on the organizers of the fair. They are especially proud of the fair’s celebration of cultural diversity and the stimulation of economic growth in Spokane.

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        World’s Fair Memories | Lasting Legacy

        Expo ’74 brought a lasting legacy—the creation of River Front Park, the Opera House and Convention Center—expanding entertainment and economic opportunities in Spokane.

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        World’s Fair Memories | Lessons Learned

        The success of Expo ’74 hinged on a community coming together, working towards a common mission and focused goals.

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        World’s Fair Memories | A Message for the Younger Generation

        The organizers of Expo ’74 want young leaders to know that through the collective use of individual power, significant change can be made within a community.

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        World’s Fair Memories | A Triumphant Experience

        Expo ’74 was a real triumph of public and private coordination—it worked because everyone involved pulled together for a common cause.

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