Showing 1 - 19 of 19 results
Berry, Overton (b. 1936)
Overton Berry, a kindly pianist who has lived in Seattle since 1945, has seen and done it all. From podunk lounge gigs to major jazz festivals, from one-nighters to years-long extended engagements, from taverns to opera houses, from department stores to city parks; and from solo shows to leading trios, quartets, and even bigger ensembles. In the 1950s Berry initially joined Seattle's segregated "Negro Musicians Union," the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) Local 493, but after integration came in 1958 he joined the suddenly inclusive AFM Local 76. Berry nurtured scores of local players (including guitarist Larry Coryell [b. 1943] and jazz vocal diva Diane Schuur [b. 1953]) and jammed with plenty of national jazz heavyweights. The pianist did USO tours (including in Vietnam in 1968), was one of the few Seattle musicians who found employment on the fairgrounds in 1962 during Seattle's Century 21 World's Fair, held down a fabled gig at the Doubletree Inn (1969-1974), played Festival '71 (the precursor to Seattle's Bumbershoot Arts Festival), has been spotlighted on numerous TV shows, and has cut albums that have become treasures to hip-hop DJs and producers. The father of four, Berry once taught reading to deprived Seattle kids and today provides private lessons to students, and operates TOBE Productions. In 2012, the Northwest piano legend was inducted into the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame.
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Century 21 Exposition (1962): Music at the Fair
Seattle's Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World's Fair) was initially conceived to be the major attraction of the decade -- and with over 10 million tickets sold to both locals and visiting tourists during the fair's six-month run of April 21, 1962, through October 21, 1962, it proved to be exactly that. In addition to the many other entertainments offered up to those attendees was music. It was all booked by a Performing Arts Division team directed by a big-time New York-based classical music talent agent, Harold Shaw. The vision was to have varying forms of music (and/or dance) presented at such fairground venues as: the Opera House, the Playhouse, the Arena, the Stadium, Show Street, the International Bandstand, the International Fountain, the Rose Garden, the Plaza of the States, the United Nations Pavilion, the Horiuchi Mural area, and the Space Needle. Thus, there would be an incredibly wide range of music -- excellent music imported from nearly every corner of the globe including: England, Germany, Norway, Romania, Serbia, Russia, Spain, India, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Japan, China, Tahiti, Mexico, Jamaica, Canada. Not to mention top-notch music brought in from all across America: New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Honolulu. Just about everywhere, it seemed, except from the Pacific Northwest itself -- where mainly volunteer amateur musicians were welcomed, and so visitors were largely deprived of hearing the best professional groups from this region.
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Century 21 Exposition (1962): Performing Arts at the Fair
Seattle's Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World's Fair) was conceived to be the major attraction of the decade, and with over 10 million tickets sold to both locals and visiting tourists from every corner of the globe, it proved to be exactly that. During the futuristically themed and science-oriented fair's six-month run from April 21, 1962, through October 21, 1962, those attendees enjoyed a broad range of attractions and entertainments, including more than 2,500 events produced by the fair management's Performing Arts Division. Headed by big-time New York talent booker Harold Shaw, that team's mission was "to be sure that each country that had a pavilion was represented in the cultural section so the lives of the people involved, and their countries, would be reflected, as well as scientific and technological achievement" (Century 21 Final Report, p. 7). The goal would be to have varying forms of performance art -- music, stage shows, and dancing -- presented daily in fairground venues including the Opera House, the Playhouse, the Arena, the Stadium, Show Street, the International Bandstand, the International Fountain, the Rose Garden, the Plaza of the States, and occasionally at the United Nations Pavilion, the Horiuchi Mural area, and the Space Needle.
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Century 21 Exposition (1962): Theme Songs and Souvenir Records
Seattle's Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World's Fair) successfully sold more than 10 million tickets to visiting tourists and locals during its six-month run between April 21,1962, and October 21, 1962. And -- as with every prior World's Fair -- legions of enterprising companies and individual entrepreneurs emerged with "collectible" items produced in an effort to separate tourists from their money. Amidst the myriad array of trinkets were Space Needle knickknacks, Monorail mementos, Bubbleator buttons, and countless other twenty-first-century tchochkes of every imaginable type. Included among them were fair-related songs that were marketed in souvenir sheet-music form and/or musical recordings. Indeed, it was reported at the time that nearly 100 such tunes were submitted in advance to the fair's management -- each composer likely hoping theirs might be selected as the exposition's "Official" theme song. Today we know that at least 200 songs were composed -- and more than 50 saw release as vinyl discs.
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Century 21 Exposition -- Forward Into the Past! -- A Cybertour
This is a Cybertour of the Century 21 Exposition, better known as the Seattle World's Fair of 1962. It was written by Alan J. Stein and designed by Chris Goodman.
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Century 21 World's Fair: Northwest Coast Indian Art Exhibit
The Fine Arts Pavilion on the grounds of Century 21, the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, was the site of a half-dozen distinct art exhibits during the fair's six-month run between April 21 and October 21. Those exhibits were Masterpieces of Art; The Paintings of Mark Tobey; Art Since 1950: American; Art Since 1950: International; Art of the Ancient East; and Northwest Coast Indian Art. The latter exhibit -- curated by University of Washington anthropologist (and director of the Washington State Museum) Dr. Erna Gunther (1896-1982) -- offered attendees unprecedented exposure to the wondrous beauty of various Northwest Coast native people's unique artwork. Its very inclusion, and its adjacency to the other exhibits, was quite purposeful: A guidebook produced to accompany the exhibit explained that "The artwork of the Indians of the Northwest Coast is presented here with examples of the great arts of the world, both historic and contemporary" -- a remarkable premise insisting that this provincial art was worth knowing about and that it had artistic merit and cultural value akin to far-better-known pieces produced in other places and times (Gunther, exhibit guide).
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Century 21: Seattle's September Days with Elvis Presley, 1962
Countless celebrities, from astronaut John Glenn (b. 1921) to Walt Disney (1901-1966) visited Seattle between April 21 and October 21, 1962, to attend the 1962 Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World's Fair). Although each received their share of media coverage and/or adulation from giddy fairgoers, none garnered the sustained media fanfare whipped up for Elvis Presley (1935-1977). During the week and-a-half -- September 5-15, 1962 -- that he was in town to work on Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's feature-length $2.5-million musical It Happened At The World's Fair,
crowds of fans gathered on the fairgrounds and also kept a vigil outside his downtown hotel. Although Seattle's mainstream media had never liked rock 'n' roll -- The Seattle Times
and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
had both been editorializing and sniping at the music (and its fans) for years -- they and local television outlets covered his every move with breathless daily reports while the town's radio hyped endless Presley oldies. Even though Presley had, by 1962, long since passed his rockin' rebel peak -- he'd served in the Army and was well into his Hollywood doldrums -- the establishment was still reluctant to accept him. Seattle Post-Intelligencer
scribe Jack Jarvis bragged about how he initially went down to the film-set with the full intent of writing a scathing review about The Side-Burned One, "and I was determined to cut him up into little pieces." Yet despite serious misgivings, the scribe quickly discovered that "I like the guy -- but will reserve judgment on his singing" (September 6, 1962). Regardless, for 10 consecutive days in September 1962, Elvis Presley's presence rocked much of a thoroughly star-struck Seattle.
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Cirque Playhouse (Seattle, 1950-1981)
Seattle’s Cirque Playhouse forged a special place in Northwest history during its three decades of almost-continuous operation. Founded and led by Gene Keene (1919-1988), the Cirque staged hundreds of different shows between 1950 and 1981. The Cirque filled a certain cultural void in the years prior to the existence of other resident groups, including the Seattle Repertory Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, and Black Arts/West. But because it focused on providing light entertainment -- popular musicals and comedies -- rather than "the classics," the Cirque weathered the scorn of the University of Washington’s famed Drama Department director Glenn Hughes (1894-1964), and various theater snobs. Despite this -- and the fact that the Cirque moved locations a few times during those decades -- it won the hearts of many area theater fans by bringing notable stars to town for extended engagements and by offering up-and-coming local talents a fine place to hone their craft. In the end, the company would be acknowledged as "the oldest and longest-running professional theater in Seattle," and, in its final 1970s incarnation, as the only remaining "professional dinner-theater on the West Coast."
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Foster, Donald Isle (1925-2012)
The great-grandson of Oregon Trail emigrants, Donald Isle Foster hails from a solid line of Pacific Northwest pioneers. He first came to prominence in the business community as the Director of Exhibits for Seattle's 1962 World's Fair (the Century 21 Exposition). Later he earned a reputation as one of the town's consummate aesthetes and a pillar of the local arts establishment during his 30 years with the taste-making Foster / White Gallery in Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood. Along the way, Foster fostered the careers of many of the Northwest's finest artists and he also benefited the community by serving on high-profile posts with the Seattle Symphony board, the Seattle Repertory Theater board, and the guiding committee of the Seattle Art Museum. (Note: This essay benefits greatly from extensive quotes taken from a recorded interview with Foster conducted in 2010 by Kathrine Beck and C. David Hughbanks.) Donald Foster died on March 24, 2012, in Palm Springs, California, survived by his longtime partner, Terry Arnett.
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Hansen, Gracie (1922-1985)
The irrepressible and brash Gracie Hansen -- best remembered for presenting shapely showgirls in her glamorous Las Vegas-style burlesque nightclub at Seattle's Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World's Fair) in 1962 -- was a most improbable individual to fulfill that role. She was a divorced, backwoods gal, with poor health, a garishly frumpy style, and no detectable musical skill. Yet she won friends easily. Fondly described once by Seattle Times
veteran reporter Don Duncan as "short, stout, big-busted," by Seattle
magazine as "short-necked and dumpy, the despair of dress designers," and by Northwest historian Murray Morgan (1916-2000) as "short, raucous and witty" -- the woman's charm was largely based on that latter attribute. The easily underestimated but extremely well-read Hansen was also a nonstop font of homespun quips, sly double-entendre jokes, and ribald witticisms. Her Paradise International Club on the fairgrounds packed in crowds -- in good part because of Hansen's knack for generating newspaper headlines in the mildly scandalized town -- while rumors of police raids, lawsuits, and Hansen's own background as a Madam (untrue), kept gossips chattering endlessly. It was all a publicity agent's dream come true -- just as it was the Cinderella moment of Gracie Hansen's difficult life -- one that saw her move on to hosting another club in Portland, where she eventually launched a humorous campaign for mayor and later one for Governor of Oregon.
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Intiman Theatre is a professional not-for-profit resident theater company in Seattle. From its inception in 1972 in a tiny 70-seat theater in Kirkland to its present operation in the 480-seat Playhouse Theatre at the Seattle Center, the theater has steadily grown into one of the nation's leading regional theaters. Over the past decade it has developed innovative programs that forge increasingly strong connections with the larger Puget Sound community and encourage dialogue about the role of the theatrical experience in American life. In 2006 Intiman Theatre was awarded the Regional Theatre Tony Award, the highest awards honor an American regional theater can attain.
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Pacific Northwest Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet, founded in 1972, is consistently ranked among the leading professional ballet companies in the United States. Since its inception, the company has performed at Seattle Center, first at the Opera House and then at McCaw Hall. From 1977 to 2005, artistic directors Kent Stowell (b. 1939) and Francia Russell (b. 1938) developed and guided the company. Their talent, dedication, and long tenure profoundly shaped the company and the Pacific Northwest Ballet School. Since 2005, Peter Boal has led both company and school. Under Boal's watch, the ballet has greatly expanded its repertory and presented regional premieres to critical acclaim.
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Rochester, Alfred Ruffner (1895-1989)
Al Rochester, a lifelong Seattle resident, was active in the Democratic Party, served on the Seattle City Council (1944-1956), and published The Seattlite
. Rochester was the original advocate and founder of Century 21, known as The Seattle World's Fair of 1962.
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Seattle Arts Commission, Part 1
The Seattle Arts Commission -- a cultural agency hosted by the executive branch of city government -- was formed in 1971. It evolved out of an earlier Municipal Arts Commission that had led the way in the 1950s with visionary proposals to weave more artistic experiences into the daily life of the community through governmental support of historic preservation; various resident performance groups; the creation of opera and ballet companies; and even the launching of efforts to produce what would become the Century 21 Exposition -- Seattle's 1962 World's Fair. But it was the leadership provided by many volunteer commissioners who served on the Seattle Arts Commission over its first two decades that resulted in Seattle being able to boast a public-art collection that today totals thousands of pieces (including many iconic works seen in area parks and public buildings), and a robust city-sponsored live performance schedule. Beyond these accomplishments, early commission policies and programs (especially the "design team" approach to integrating artistic and architectural visions) gained widespread recognition for their innovative and effective features, which allowed them to eventually become national models. Along the way Seattle established an international reputation as a serious center of the arts.
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Seattle Arts Commission: Part 2 (1991-2011)
The Seattle Arts Commission -- a cultural agency hosted by the executive branch of city government -- was formed in 1971. In the years since, it has successfully worked to weave more artistic experiences into the daily lives of community members through funding support for historic preservation projects, resident performance groups, and individual artists, who are regularly commissioned to create public art installations. The leadership provided by many volunteer commissioners who have served on the SAC over the decades has resulted in Seattle being able to boast a public-art collection that totals thousands of pieces, including many iconic works seen in area parks and public buildings, and a robust, city-sponsored live-performance schedule. Beyond those accomplishments, various SAC policies and programs (especially the "design team" approach to integrating artistic and architectural visions) have gained widespread recognition for innovative and effective features that have become national models and brought Seattle an international reputation as a serious center of the arts. This is Part 2 of a two-part essay.
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Seattle Neighborhoods: Seattle Center -- Thumbnail History
The Seattle Center, located north of downtown at the foot of Queen Anne Hill, is a cultural and entertainment campus built in 1962 for the Seattle World's Fair. The World's Fair helped to transform Seattle from a rather provincial backwater into a genuinely cosmopolitan port city, and it created a lasting legacy of important civic buildings for the arts, professional sports, and major community events, such as the annual Bumbershoot arts festival that takes place over Labor Day weekend.
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Seattle Repertory Theatre
Since its earliest decades, Seattle has been staging theatrical plays and other musical and dramatic entertainments. Plenty of theaters and their associated troupes have come and gone, but only one -- the nearly five-decade-old Seattle Repertory Theatre (SRT) company -- can fairly lay claim to being what The New York Times
has crowned it: "This city's flagship theatre." The Rep (as it is commonly called) has also been described, by local arts patron (and one-time SRT board-member) Hans Lehmann, as "this city's first important legitimate theater" and even "a national treasure" that earned its esteemed reputation as one of America's largest and most renowned regional theaters by producing and presenting a lively mix of classics and edgy new works since its founding in 1963. Millions of audience members have attended more than 300 different plays (including the debut of almost 100 brand-new pieces) and enjoyed watching the premier of plays by such outstanding playwrights as Neil Simon and August Wilson. Based, since 1983, at the Bagley Wright Theatre building (155 Mercer Street), the Rep -- which presents shows and other events in both the 842-seat Bagley Wright Theatre hall and (since 1996) the adjacent 282-seat Leo Kreielsheimer (the "Leo K") Theatre hall -- was honored with a Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1990. In 1992 Lehmann also wrote that the "advent and success of the Rep spawned a whole array of other Seattle theatrical enterprises" including ACT and Intiman. Indeed "it can be claimed with some accuracy that outside of New York, Seattle can boast of a greater variety of theater activities than any city in the U.S.A."
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Spokane Veterans Administration Memorial Hospital
World War II drew to a close in 1945, but there remained a great need for hospitals to treat the enormous numbers of veterans that returned home from the conflict. The City of Spokane was chosen as the location for one of these facilities. The site of the Baxter General Hospital, in northwest Spokane, was chosen for the new hospital, which was completed in 1950. In the following years, thousands of veterans from a number of conflicts were treated at the Veterans Administration Memorial Center (VAMC) in Spokane. In time, the hospital expanded into the present campus of three dozen buildings.
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Wright, Bagley (1924-2011)
Bagley Wright was a Seattle philanthropist, businessman, and civic leader. Wright's deft business skills, strongly held artistic preferences, deep financial means, and equally deep commitment to his community resulted in a life spent leading and goading Seattle's arts community toward excellence and fiscal prudence. Among his many contributions to Seattle's cultural development over more than five decades was the astute and active leadership he provided to Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Art Museum, and Seattle Symphony. Together with his wife, Virginia Wright,, and prompted by her lifelong passion for post-war and contemporary art, Bagley Wright assembled one of the most important private collections of such art in the country, with the specific goal of giving this bounty to Seattle citizens.
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Showing 1 - 20 of 20 results
Gordon S. Clinton is elected to his first term as Seattle mayor on March 13, 1956.
On March 13, 1956, the voters of Seattle elect Gordon S. Clinton (1920-2011) as mayor. In the non-partisan race, Clinton bests one-term incumbent Allan Pomeroy. Clinton, who had overcome childhood poverty to become a successful Seattle attorney, will go on to serve two terms as the City's mayor. He will preside over eight years of rapid change and growth that sees the establishment of Metro, the triumph of the Century 21 World's Fair, and the birth of Seattle's Sister City Program, which he will consider to be one of his greatest accomplishments.
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Demolition of buildings on Century 21 Exposition/Seattle World's Fair site begins on November 12, 1958.
On November 12, 1958, demolition of existing structures on the future Seattle World's Fair grounds begins. The first home to fall is a two-story, eight-room wood-frame house at 619 Nob Hill Avenue (future site of the Mercer Street Parking Garage). The house dates from 1895. Seattle real estate magnate Henry Broderick (1880-1975) releases the wrecking ball's first swing. Broderick owes this honor to his singular role as a trustee of both the 1962 Seattle World's Fair and the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition.
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Century 21 World's Fair opening twist party event is held on April 20, 1962.
On Friday April 20 and Saturday April 21, 1962, the grand opening of the Century 21 World's Fair is celebrated with two days' worth of World's Fair Opening Twist Party concerts at the Orpheum Theatre (506 Stewart). Presented by Seattle's venerable special events promotion firm, Northwest Releasing (in conjunction with bigtime event producer Lee Gordon), the events mark the town's first-ever major rock 'n' roll extravaganza to be handled by a local firm -- and it manages to sell out (2,700 seating capacity) six shows (2:45 p.m., 5:15 p.m., and 8:00 p.m.) over those two days. Northwest teenagers are thrilled to hear many twist-related radio hits performed by all of the top purveyors of that dance, who are brought in from the East Coast where the fad originated. Among the featured acts are Philadelphia's Chubby Checker, the Dovells, Dee Dee Sharp, the Carroll Brothers, and Bobby Gregg and his Friends -- along with the house band at New York City's suddenly famous Peppermint Lounge nightclub, Joey Dee and the Starliters. And to top the festivities off, Seattle's highest profile radio DJ, KJR's Pat O'Day (b. 1934), serves as MC.
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Belgian waffles are introduced in America at the Seattle World's Fair on April 21, 1962.
On April 21, 1962, Belgian waffles make their American debut at the Seattle World's Fair. The waffles, which are fluffier and lighter than regular waffles, are served up with strawberries and cream by chef Walter Cleyman at two stands, one of which resembles a small chalet. The tasty treat becomes a huge hit at the fair.
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Soviet Cosmonaut Gherman Titov visits Seattle's Century 21 Exposition on May 5 and May 6, 1962.
On May 5, 1962, Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov (b. 1935) and his wife Tamara (b. 1938) visit the Seattle World's Fair along with their interpreter and other escorts. Huge crowds turn out to see the space traveler, and many find him to be friendly and charming. On the second day of his visit, Titov casually mentions that he saw no god while in outer space, and his professed atheism causes controversy.
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Century 21 Exposition official Ewen Dingwall closes controversial "Girls of the Galaxy" show on May 13, 1962.
On May 13, 1962, Century 21 Exposition/Seattle World's Fair general manager Ewen Dingwall (1913-1996) closes the controversial "Girls of the Galaxy" attraction on Show Street, the fair's adult entertainment area. Dingwall's orders are that the show close by midnight on the basis that it violates the fair's minimum decency standards. "Girls of the Galaxy" has already endured one closure by the Seattle Board of Theater Supervisors, during which the show and venue have been revamped. "Girls of the Galaxy" performers and managers, outraged, vow to fight Dingwall's decree.
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Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, visits Seattle's Century 21 Exposition on June 1, 1962.
On June 1, 1962, His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh (b. 1921) visits Seattle where he embarks on a whirlwind tour of the Century 21 Exposition and various locations throughout the city. During his visit, many fairgoers are captivated by the prince's charm, poise, and droll humor.
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Dr. Jonas Salk visits Century 21 Exposition and is honored at the United States Science Pavilion on June 4, 1962.
On June 4, 1962, Dr. Jonas Salk (1914-1995) addresses leading scientists, educators, community leaders, and fairgoers at the United States Science Pavilion at the Seattle World's Fair. Salk invented the first vaccine capable of protecting humans from poliomyelitis (polio). It was introduced to the public between 1955 and 1958 and earned him near-deity status among American parents, for whom the threat of their children catching polio had been a persistent terror.
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Fairgoers at the Century 21 Exposition in Seattle celebrate A-Y-P Day on June 22, 1962.
On June 22, 1962, fairgoers celebrate Alaska-Yukon-Pacific (A-Y-P) Exposition Day at the Century 21 Exposition in Seattle. The Century 21 World's Fair was held at the site now known as the Seattle Center from April 21 to October 21, 1962. It attracted 10 million fairgoers and was held in part to commemorate Washington's first World's Fair, the 1909 A-Y-P Exposition. A-Y-P Day includes a parade of vintage automobiles, a fashion show featuring 1909's finest apparel, a concert band playing 1909 tunes, and speeches recounting the glory days of Washington's first World's Fair.
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Christian evangelist Billy Graham delivers sermon to 20,000 fairgoers during Century 21 Exposition on July 8, 1962.
On Sunday, July 8, 1962, Christian evangelist Billy Graham (b.1918) preaches to a crowd of nearly 20,000 fairgoers at Seattle's World's Fair. Although Graham's revival meetings usually stretch over many days or weeks, the 3:00 p.m. event is his only sermon at the fair. Seats at the revival meeting are free, but all of those attending have paid $2 for admission to the fair.
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New Jersey Day is celebrated, and hurt feelings are smoothed over, at the Seattle World's Fair on July 20, 1962.
On July 20, 1962, New Jersey Day is celebrated at the Seattle World's Fair. The event comes on the heels of a small brouhaha, after a caravan of New Jersey visitors traveled cross-country only to find their accommodations less than accommodating. Fair officials scramble to alleviate the situation, and in the end everyone is happy.
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Telstar beams the first live television shows between Europe and the United States, including scenes from the Seattle World's Fair, on July 23, 1962.
On July 23, 1962, the Telstar satellite relays the word's first exchange of live television shows by Europe and the United States. Included in the 20-minute broadcast are live images broadcast from the Seattle World's Fair. It is estimated that more than 200 million viewers on both sides of the Atlantic watch this historic telecast.
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Century 21 Exposition debuts Saturday night dances on July 28, 1962.
On Saturday evening, July 28, 1962, Seattle's Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World's Fair) launches a teenage dance series which kicks off at 8:00 p.m. at the International Plaza's new bandstand with a few words of introduction by KVI radio disc jockey, Buddy Webber. This is an appropriate arrangement given that Webber -- of the many local people who had grumbled about the fair's general focus on adult tastes and children's interests (and with minimal activities geared towards teens and other fans of rock 'n' roll or rhythm-&-blues) -- has been the most effective campaigner for a policy change. His proposed solution? Free outdoor teen-dances every Saturday night!
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Attorney General Robert F Kennedy visits the Seattle World's Fair with members of his family on August 7, 1962.
On August 7, 1962, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968) visits the Seattle World's Fair with members of his family. They spend most of the day enjoying a wide variety of exhibits and amusements. In the afternoon, Kennedy gives a speech to an overflow audience in the playhouse. Media coverage of Kennedy's visit to the Century 21 Exposition is slightly overshadowed by news of the suicide of Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) in Los Angeles two days earlier.
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Canadian Tattoo performances marking Canada Week at Century 21 Exposition begin on September 11, 1962.
On September 11, 1962, Canada Week at Century 21 Exposition begins with the first of six planned performances of the Canadian Tattoo in Memorial Stadium. A highly dramatized reenactment of a traditional end-of-evening routine in military encampments, the Canadian Tattoo at the Seattle World's Fair is performed by the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The spectacle proves to be a highlight of the six-month fair.
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World's Fair Unlimited Pigeon Rally takes flight at the Seattle World's Fair on September 20, 1962.
On September 20, 1962, a flock of homing pigeons is released from the observation deck of the Space Needle as part of a plan to publicize the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. The birds, sponsored by many of Seattle's media personalities, race their way back to Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, after making an unplanned pit stop in downtown Seattle. Very few of them are reported to have arrived home.
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Seattle Repertory Theatre debuts with King Lear in the Seattle Playhouse on November 13, 1963.
On the evening of Wednesday November 13, 1963, the Seattle Repertory Theatre company makes its debut before a near-capacity crowd with a production of William Shakespeare's King Lear. One year prior -- on October 21, 1962 -- Seattle's six-months-long Century 21 Exposition had ended and a major legacy of that World's Fair was a good number of new civic facilities including the performance space known as the Seattle Playhouse, as designed by noted Seattle architect, Paul Kirk, and located on the fair's campus at 201 Mercer Street.
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Local singer Alexys performs folk-pop radio hit at huge Seattle Center Coliseum concert on January 1, 1966.
On the evening of Saturday January 1, 1966, local folk-pop singer Alexys shares billing on the "New Year's Spectacular" concert at the Seattle Center Coliseum with numerous big-time rock stars including the Beach Boys from Los Angeles and the Yardbirds from London, England. Alexys is the stage name adopted by Paula Tutmarc (later Johnson, 1950-2013), the teenage daughter of two prominent Seattle musicians: radio star, music teacher, and electric-guitar manufacturer, Paul Tutmarc Sr. (1896-1972); and nationally famed country/pop singer and record producer, "Bonnie Guitar" Tutmarc (b. 1923).
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Next 50 celebration starts its six-month run with opening day ceremonies at Seattle Center on April 21, 2012.
On April 21, 2012, the six-month Next 50 celebration kicks off opening day festivities at Seattle Center, marking the 50th anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, also known as the Century 21 Exposition, and looking ahead to Seattle Center's next 50 years. Thousands of people enjoy a warm sunny day -- not unlike fairgoers who came through the gates on April 21, 1962 -- and take in a variety of performances, exhibits, and general fun.
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First annual Seattle Science Festival kicks off with Science Expo Day on June 2, 2012.
On June 2, 2012, the first annual Seattle Science festival starts with Science Expo Day on the grounds of Seattle Center. The month-long festival will feature displays and programs on science, technology, and innovation and is part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Seattle World’s Fair and the Pacific Science Center. Opening day draws more than 20,000 children and parents to the center, and science-related events will continue into July. The festival, considered by many to be long overdue in a city famous for its computer, aerospace, and other high-tech industries, is sponsored by many of the Northwest's leading research institutions, museums, schools and universities, businesses, and non-profits. More than 150 exhibits, displays, demonstrations, and other attractions will be available during the event.
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Being the 9,000,000th (nine-millionth) visitor to the 1962 Seattle World's Fair: Paula Dahl (Jones) remembers
Paula Dahl (Jones) was just 6 years old when she became the nine-millionth visitor to Century 21, Seattle's 1962 World's Fair. She and her family were greeted at the gate and given prizes and a red-carpet tour of the fair and its attractions. In this People's History, Ms. Jones recalls what it was like to be a young celebrity for a day.
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Century 21 Exposition Protocol Assistant Roger Martinsen Remembers the Fair
Roger Martinsen (b. 1936) was born in Seattle and attended Roosevelt High School and the University of Washington, graduating in 1958. After three and a half years serving in the United States Navy, Martinsen returned to Seattle and took a job as Assistant Protocol Officer at Century 21 Exposition, Seattle's 1962 World's Fair. Martinsen worked under Protocol Officer Saeed Kahn, who had been assigned to the fair by the United States Department of State. The fair's Protocol Office managed all aspects of visits for diplomatic visitors to the fair of cabinet level and above, meticulously planning moment by moment in order to ensure enjoyment, comfort, and adherence to diplomatic protocol. In this People's History, Roger Martinsen remembers his work at the fair, and some of the famous visitors he assisted.
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Marilyn Gandy Scherrer discusses Laurene and Joe Gandy's Seattle World's Fair memories
Laurene Tatlow Gandy (1908-1993) was widely acknowledged as the First Lady of the Century 21 Exposition -- 1962 Seattle World's Fair, and was one of that fair's most important assets. With her husband, Seattle World's Fair president Joseph E. Gandy (1904-1971), she graciously welcomed and entertained visiting dignitaries and their families throughout the fair's six-month run. In the decades following the fair, Laurene Gandy continued to support and nurture the Seattle World's Fair's most important legacy, Seattle Center. In 1977, Laurene Gandy helped found Seattle Center Foundation, the nonprofit organization that raises funds by encouraging foundation, governmental, and private contributions to the Center. This People's History is based on a presentation that Joe and Laurene Gandy's daughter, Marilyn Gandy Scherrer, prepared for Seattle's Sunset Club, an organization of which Laurene Gandy was a longtime member and past president. As she explains, Marilyn Gandy Scherrer's presentation is based on a compilation of speeches that Laurene Gandy delivered to community groups in the years following the fair, and a speech that Joseph Gandy delivered to the Seattle Rotary weeks after the fair closed.
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Northgate Beginnings: Jim Douglas Remembers the First Year
In this People's History, Jim Douglas (1909-2005), president of Northgate Centers Inc. from 1949 to 1976, remembers the opening of Northgate Shopping Center on April 21, 1950, the new development's first tumultuous year, and its spectacular Christmas celebration. Northgate, located in Seattle, was the country's first shopping center designated as a mall. Douglas was Northgate's first president. He participated in many other important Seattle projects such as the Century 21 Exposition (1962), and the creation of the United Way.
File 2289: Full Text >
Turning Point 13: Summer in the City: From Potlatch to Bumbershoot
The 13th article in HistoryLink's Turning Points series for The Seattle Times
recaps the history of summer festivals from the first 1911 Potlatch though the creation of Seafair to help celebrate Seattle's centennial, up to Bumbershoot. The essay was written by Walt Crowley and published on August 3, 2001.
File 9303: Full Text >