Thursday, February 19, 2015

World's Fair Opened Today -- February 19, 2015

Klamath Falls Evening Herald, 20-February-1915

Tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.  I am posting this article from the 20-February-1915 Klamath Falls Evening Herald today because I have the News of the Week to post tomorrow. 

World's Fair Opened Today
President Starts the Panama - Pacific Exposition
Flash From Washington Begins Period of Golden Opportunity for Pacific Coast

United Press Service

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 20 -- The Panama-Pacific International exposition opened its doors to the world here today.

The mandate, throwing wide the gates, came direct from President Wilson at Washington, over the transcontinental telephone line. The mandate was in the form of a congratulatory message and his voice carried splendidly over the three thousand miles of wire. An electric magaphone (megaphone - JT) then carried the president's words to every part of the 645 acres covered by the exposition and the big show was on.

President Wilson was unable to be here in person to participate in the historic celebration of the completion of Uncle Sam's mighty waterway, but he was represented by a member of his cabinet -- Secretary of the Interior Franklin Lane, a California product.

The crowd attending the opening ceremonies came from the four points of the compass. Exposition officials estimated that 500,000 people would pass through the turnstiles before the end of the day. It undoubtedly was the largest crowd ever to attend any exposition on its opening day.

Today's celebration was not confined to California alone. Factory whistles and bells in scores of cities and towns throughout the United States joined with other noise-making devices in letting the country know that the Panama-Pacific exposition was open and that San Francisco and California were ready to entertain the people of both hemispheres.

"On Time"

Two years ago President Charles C. Moore promised that the exposition would be complete in every respect on the opening date and he fulfilled his promise so far as the exposition proper was concerned. The landscape work was complete, the courts and buildings finished and their exhibits in their places. The Zone, the exposition's amusement place, is the biggest thing ever attempted in its line. There is still some work to be done on the amusement buildings, but this work will be completed, according to the contractors, within two weeks.
Fleet Fires Salute

The Pacific Coast battleship fleet opened the day by booming a 31-gun salute. This was the signal for hundreds of other craft in the harbor and the clamor continued for nearly an hour. The guns of the Presidio fort also joined in the demonstration and every factory whistle in the bay district tooted continuously for thirty minutes. Every street car and church bell and every automobile horn in the city also contributed to the noise making. Scores of drum corps bands went about the city awakening the citizens at dawn.

All San Franciso was awake and dressed by 7 o'clock.

The local Japanese and Chinese colonies alone had more than 1,000 men, women and children in line. Bands, and plenty of them took part, the idea being to have music at all times for the marchers.

Dedication ceremonies and felicitations followed President Wilson's telephoned mandate. These were participated in by Secretary of the Interior Lane, Charles C. Moore, president of the exposition; Hiram W. Johnson, governor of California;; dignitaries of foreign nations, and Mayor Rolph. The ceremonies were held on a stand erected under the celebrated tower of jewels. The speeches and congratulatory remarks occupied more than an hour and then the inspection of the eleven exposition palaces was on.
Over 60,000 Exhibits

There are more than 60,000 separate exhibits in the big exposition palaces lining the long avenues of palms and tropical gardens. It cost $50,000,000 alone to build the exposition palaces and the exhibits are valued at $350,000,000. In addition to 42 foreign nations and the Federal government, nearly every state in the Union sent exhibits.

While Germany, Austria, England, Servia and Belgium are not nationally represented, they have extensive exhibits in the various buildings. Other nations, like France and Japan, increased, rather than diminished their participation because of the war.
Zone is Joy Street

The Zone represents an outlay of more than $10,000,000. It extends for nearly a mile and is lined with huge spectacular and mirth-making devices. It is the costliest amusement street ever built at a world's exposition. Some 7,000 people are employed in this section alone.

One of the most interesting features of the Zone is the miniature reproduction of the Panama Canal. Visitors sit on a revolving platform which takes them slowly around a miniature Isthmus of Pana, from ocean to ocean and back again, seeing the Panama Canal from every viewpoint and acquiring a perfect knowledge of its workings.

Tonight the carnival spirit will have its first hilarious fling when the city and its guests will throng the Zone and dance in the exposition year. At dusk a lever will be thrown, releasing a stream of electrical energy generated in the Sierras 200 miles away, illuminating the fountains and buildings by a new, indirect method, the lights themselves being concealed. This is regarded as one of the great beautifying triumphs of the exposition. In addition, more than 100 searchlights will be employed to add to the brilliancy of the night displays.

The exposition will remain open, including Sundays and holidays, until December 4, 1915.

Story of the Exposition

San Francisco won the government's support for its exposition against determined opposition by southern congressmen who wanted to center the Federal appropriation on a proposed exposition in New Orleans. The work of preparing for the exposition, which had been suspended pending this decision, then went forward with renewed energy.

Ground was broken January 1, 1913, on a stretch of sand covered with debris and old structures. More than 70 acres were reclaimed from San Francisco bay. Six hundred and thirty acres of marsh land were converted into a veritable garden.

Under the director of the department of landscape gardening, the former arid waste was made to bloom until today, when the fair opened, flowers were blossoming everywhere on the grounds.

War Didn't Stop Work

When the great European war broke out last summer, it was predicted by some that the attendance of the San Francisco fair would be seriously affected. President Moore, of the exposition company, denied this and declared today that if the war affected the exposition at all it would be advantageously.

Thousands of persons who have been in the habit of visiting Europe every spring or summer will visit San Francisco and California this fall, he believes, so that, instead of being affected adversely, the fair will really be helped. Railroad officials are preparing to accommodate tremendous crowds of tourists and local hotel men assert that their reservations during the coming months bear out the railroad's forecast.


  • Celebrates the completion of the Panama Canal.
  • Gates open at 9 a. m. Saturday, February 20; close Saturday, December 4, 1915.
  • Forty-three states and forty-two foreign nations represented officially, other nations by individual exhibitors; more than have been present at any other exposition in history.
  • Investment represented, $50,000,000.
  • Concentration of exhibit palaces a triumph of ground plotting.  Contains the largest frame building under one roof in the world -- Machinery hall.
  • Transportation facilities are available to handle fifty thousand visitors an hour to and from the exposition gates.
  • Hotel facilities ample for any number visitors.  Reasonable rates guaranteed.
  • Covers an area of two and one-half miles in length by one-half a mile in width along shore of San Francisco bay.

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 20. -- The Liberty Bell was rung today for the second time in three quarters of a century, and telephone instruments were arranged to convey the sound to the exposition grounds at San Francisco, where the fair opened today.

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