Contact John Renjilian, 203-426-0864
Readers of a certain generation remember traveling to New York City in 1964 and 1965 in order to see the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows. For those who missed the opportunity, or simply want to relive it, the Newtown Historical Society, in conjunction with the C H Booth Library, will offer a virtual trip to The 1964/65 New York World’s Fair, October 15, 7.30 PM, at the library meeting room, 25 Main Street. Our tour guide will be Jason Scappaticci.
The years after WWII led to a spurt of World’s Fairs in an attempt to recover from the devastation and horrors of the war. Beginning with the first great worldwide industrial fair, London’s 1851 Crystal Palace, nations and businesses had used the new vehicle for showing off the latest technology, products, and of course national culture. Every large manufacturer had to have its own pavilion, vying with each other for innovations that would attract a crowd, like the Magic Skyway of the Ford Pavilion. Nations not only showcased their products but also their identifying cultural characteristics including cuisine, all in the name of reaching the largest audience; no brunch today would be complete without a Belgian waffle stop, but the World’s Fair was the first place many Americans had the chance to try one.
However, fairs don’t just happen. As befitting such a grand offering, much preparation is required before the public can experience the pleasures of a fair. Planning began years ahead, and construction, even though most of the buildings were intended to be temporary – exhibitors were given instructions on how to dismantle their displays and buildings at Fair’s end – was a massive undertaking. Jason Scappaticci will not only take us through the Fair’s delights but show us scenes of the preparation and the drama of keeping it all running.
Jason Scappaticci is Director of New Students and First Year Programs at Manchester Community College. He has degrees in history and American Studies. He has traveled throughout the state offering programs to historical societies and civic groups, and has been published in Connecticut Explored magazine.
All Newtown Historical Society programs are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served following the program. For more information please visit the website at www.newtownhistory.org, Facebook at www.facebook.com/newtownhistoricalsociety, or call 203-426-5937.