In the summer of 1964 my parents took the family from Turlock, CA, where we lived at the time, cross country to New York City in order to visit the New York World’s Fair. We had the great pleasure of staying with the Reverend Alden and Mrs. Amy Erlandson, along with their daughters Mary and Marcy while Alden was pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Brooklyn, NY. Quite a wonderful time. I learned a new way of using the English language and can still say the word “sneakers” in authentic Brooklyn speak.
I mention this here in this context because the New York World’s Fair was entirely astounding and awe inspiring. I remain indebted to my parents for having the opportunity to encounter this depth of cultural engagement at the age of fifteen. Different world then in many ways and interaction with the world around us often had great limits – ie: no Internet, actual contact required.
The New York World’s Fair was extensive and several video shorts can be found on YouTube, especially:
Extinct Attractions 1964 World’s Fair, part 1 (3:05:01) with Lowell Thomas
Extinct Attractions 1964 World’s Fair, part 2 (3:05:02) with Lowell Thomas
Extinct Attractions 1964 World’s Fair, part 3 (1:01:55) with Lowell Thomas
And there is a very complete online presentation for the Golden Anniversary:
One of the exhibits that I really wanted to see the day we visited the New York World’s Fair was Michelangelo Buonarroti’s Renaissance sculpture Pietà, which was on loan from the Vatican. This did not happen. We visited the Billy Graham Pavilion and we watched the short film The Red Balloon instead. Family can be like a hammer in many ways. I did not get the opportunity to see Pietà until Joan and I took the initiative to visit Europe which included Rome and the Vatican.