1870 – Philadelphia City Council approves site for 1876 Centennial Exposition
The Philadelphia City Council approved a request by the Franklin Institute to use the city’s Fairmount Park and initial funding. In January 1870, the council voted to put on the Centennial Exposition in 1876.
The Centennial International Exhibition was the first officially recognized World’s Fair in the U.S. and was held from May 10 through Nov. 10, 1876, to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia. Officially called the International Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures and Products of the Soil and Mine, the fairgrounds were designed by Herman J. Schwarzmann. About 20 percent of the U.S. population at the time – 10 million visitors – attended during the fair’s run.
1917 – The Panama–California Exposition closes after two-year run
Held in San Diego between March 9, 1915 and Jan. 1, 1917, the Panama-California Exposition heralded the opening of the Panama Canal and was designed to increase San Diego’s profile as a port city and the first port of call for vessels entering U.S. waters after traveling westward through the recently opened canal. Pres. Woodrow Wilson opened the event from Washington D.C. with the push of a button, sending an electric signal that initiated power to the event held in San Diego’s Balboa Park.
The Liberty Bell made a brief appearance during the event, and the event is credited with making San Diego an internationally known destination. Originally scheduled for a one-year run, the event was extended due to its popularity and saw more than 3.7 million visitors while turning a slight profit.
1928 – Chicago World’s Fair organizers create nonprofit entity for 1933 expo
Putting on a World’s Fair requires a lot of advance planning, and the leaders for the 1933 and 1934 “A Century of Progress” World’s Fair in Chicago began by officially organizing as a nonprofit in January 1928. The two-year event celebrated the 100th anniversary of city of Chicago’s founding while providing a venue for celebrating the many scientific and industrial advancements of the time. Buildings were painted in a variety of colors to give a rainbow-like feel to the event and help set it apart from the Columbia Exposition featuring all-white buildings and held in Chicago in 1893. The German dirigible Graf Zeppelin made an appearance, and the first Major League Baseball All-Star game was held at Comiskey Park in Chicago in conjunction with the World’s Fair.
Tradeshow History reported by Exhibit City News
1998 – Derse celebrates 50 years with community, employee gifts
Derse Exhibits announces $100,000 in community and employee giving done to help celebrate the firm’s 50th year in business. Among donations were $25,000 to the Wawautosa (Wis.) Fire Dept. to purchase a thermal-imaging camera and other gear and $75,000 to more than 250 long-term Derse employees to celebrate the firm’s 50th anniversary.
“Our employees have been the reason for our continued success,” said Bill Haney, president, Derse Exhibits. “We wanted to show them how important they are to Derse’s past growth and future plans. This year, everyone received year-end gifts of $100 plus $50 for every year of employment. For some of our long-term employees, it was a significant amount, and Derse is glad to be able to recognize them this way.”
2005 – Ford debuts redesigned Mustang convertible car at L.A. Auto Show
A dozen vehicles made their worldwide debuts at the L.A. Auto Show during the event’s Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 media days. Among them was the highly popular Ford Mustang convertible, which had been reworked to commemorate the Ford Mustang driven by actor Steve McQueen in the iconic film, “Bullitt.” A concept Mustang convertible also was featured but did not go into production.
Other vehicles to make their debuts during the 2005 L.A. Auto Show were the Chevrolet HHR and the Pontiac Torrent. The redesigned Volkswagen Jetta also debuted, as did vehicles from Bentley, General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, Ford and Jaguar.
2011 – National Restaurant Association extends showcase at McCormick Place
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley joined officials from the National Restaurant Association (NRA) to announce the five-year extension of the association’s contract to host its annual Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show and International Wine, Spirits and Beet Event at Chicago’s McCormick Place through 2016. The annual Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest of its kind and draws tens of thousands of attendees from around the globe. Organizers estimate the two shows will generate some $600 million in revenues for Chicago through the 2016 run.
“Chicago is a world-class destination that provides outstanding business facilities along with sensational culinary, cultural and entertainment assets,” said Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO, NRA. Our 66,000 attendees and exhibitors from all 50 states and more than 100 countries deserve and expect excellence, and Chicago delivers.”