• Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

Overcoming Controversy: Spokane’s Journey to Host World’s Fair, Expo ’74.

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, Youngs said. 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.

The controversy surrounding Expo ’74 began when the Spokane City Council implemented a controversial business and occupation tax that raised $5.7 million to remove the railroad tracks and prepare the fair site for Expo ’74. The move was met with opposition from many quarters, including businesses and labor unions who feared job losses due to the relocation of trains away from downtown. However, despite this opposition, city officials remained resolute in their determination to make Expo ’74 a success.

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.” This endorsement was a major milestone for Expo ’74 and helped to attract corporate pavilions like Ford, General Motors, General Electric, Eastman Kodak, Boeing

By Samantha Jones

As a content writer at newsnnk.com, I weave words into captivating stories that inform and engage our readers. With a passion for storytelling and an eye for detail, I strive to deliver high-quality and engaging content that resonates with our audience. From breaking news to thought-provoking features, I am dedicated to providing informative and compelling articles that keep our readers informed and entertained. Join me on this journey as we explore the world through the power of words.

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