• Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

Spokane’s Successful Quest to Host the World’s Fair: A Journey to Remember

BySamantha Jones

Apr 3, 2024
The World’s Fair transformed Spokane’s downtown 50 years ago

Spokane leaders sought advice from Seattle, which had hosted a fair in 1962, for guidance on organizing their own world’s fair. They were advised that a fair was a great idea and should be pursued. Fair leaders managed to secure pledges of $1.3 million in start-up funds, primarily from Spokane businesses. Additionally, the Washington Legislature allocated nearly $12 million in state tax dollars to construct the Washington State Pavilion, which later became the Spokane Opera House and Convention Center.

In October 1971, President Richard M. Nixon officially endorsed the event. With a delegation led by King Cole, Spokane received the Bureau of International Expositions in Paris’s unanimous approval as an official “special exposition.” Washington’s influential Congressional delegation, including Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson, Sen. Warren Magnuson, and Rep. Thomas Foley, secured an $11.5 million appropriation to construct the U.S. Pavilion. City officials successfully persuaded Spokane’s three railroads to relocate, with the Union Pacific, Milwaukee Road, and Burlington Northern donating 17 acres of land to the city. This move was worth many millions and allowed them to consolidate their routes away from downtown.

Cole then focused on attracting countries to participate in the fair and managed to secure commitments from numerous nations, including the Soviet Union, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea

By Samantha Jones

As a dedicated content writer at newszxcv.com, I bring a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail to every piece I create. With a background in journalism and a love for crafting engaging narratives, I strive to deliver informative and captivating content that resonates with our readers. Whether I'm covering breaking news or delving into in-depth features, my goal is to inform, entertain, and inspire through the power of words. Join me on this journey as we explore the ever-evolving world of news together.

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