canada africa partner reservation 50 years ago in Expo history: The fair’s second day opened to (mostly) rave reviews

50 years ago in Expo history: The fair’s second day opened to (mostly) rave reviews


Positive visitor reviews abounded on the second day of Expo ’74, with one person quoted as saying it was “a combination of a state fair, a carnival and Disneyland.”

Others mentioned that the fair’s theme was persuasive. One visitor, an educator, said fairgoers “definitely will leave with an increased awareness of environmental issues and problems.”

A visiting construction worker said he saw lots of plastic used in the displays, which undercut the fair’s message about the problems of disposing of plastic. He also said he regretted that the fair was so commercial, “but I guess it has to be that way to make it pay.”

Yet a Spokane police officer probably spoke for many residents when he said the transformation of the riverfront was stunning. “This part of town used to be the ugliest,” he said. “Now, it’s the prettiest. I wonder what the Expo critics are thinking now. I don’t hear much about that now.”

Meanwhile, organizers were pleased and relieved that Opening Day had gone “like clockwork.” An S-R reporter said the consensus in the press enclosure was that “it was judged to be the most spectacular in the memory of most newsmen.”

Even the weather cooperated, which was not exactly a certainty for Spokane in early May. The skies were clear, the air was warm and the chilly winds, which had been prevalent earlier in the week, had vanished.

Also on this day


1893: Panic of 1893 causes a large crash on the NY Stock Exchange.

1965 First large-scale US Army ground units arrive in South Vietnam.