April 21st: The Seattle World’s Fair (Century 21 Exposition) Opens

April 21, 2023

The Seattle World’s Fair, also known as the Century 21 Exposition, opened on April 21, 1962, and ran until October 21, 1962. This historic event played a significant role in showcasing the nation’s technological and cultural advancements. The fair aimed to provide a glimpse into the future, focusing on themes like space exploration, science, and innovation.

Seattle, a city in the Pacific Northwest region, was chosen as the host for the fair in an effort to revitalize its economy and infrastructure. The fairgrounds, later known as the Seattle Center, were constructed on 74 acres of land at the foot of Queen Anne Hill, just north of downtown Seattle.

The Century 21 Exposition attracted over 10 million visitors from around the world during its six-month run. The fair featured numerous pavilions, exhibits, and attractions, including the United States Science Pavilion, the Space Needle, and the Monorail. The Space Needle, a 605-foot-tall observation tower, quickly became an iconic symbol of the fair and remains one of Seattle’s most recognizable landmarks to this day.

Not only did the Seattle World’s Fair highlight advancements in science and technology, but it also showcased art, music, and international cultures, hosting performances and exhibits from several countries. The fair served as a platform for fostering global cooperation and understanding, as well as promoting economic growth and tourism in the Pacific Northwest region.

The legacy of the Century 21 Exposition is still felt today, as the Seattle Center continues to be a hub for cultural, educational, and entertainment events. The fair’s focus on innovation and progress proved to be a pivotal moment in the history of World’s Fairs and solidified Seattle’s place as a forward-thinking, global city.



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