Countdown to Opening Day, 1939 World’s Fair

Artwork by Albert Staehle (1899 - 1974). Handbill in the Collection on the 1939/1940 New York World’s Fair at the Museum of the City of New York.

The Fair Opened on April 30th, 1939, and was promoted via many beautiful posters and design renderings


The “World of Tomorrow”

Seventy-five years ago the 1939 World’s Fair opened in Queens, New York City, NY, on April 30, 1939.  (Also the site of the 1964 World’s Fair)

FDR Opens N.Y. World’s Fair Before 600,000

New York, N.Y.—The “World of Tomorrow,” spectacular pageant of color and engineering skill, is jammed with excited and thrilled sightseers for its gala opening. Pres. Roosevelt, dedicating the $156,000,000 exhibit calls for world good-will and peace. The evening is climaxed with brilliant fireworks!

From: Universal Newsreel Volume 11, Release 767, Stories 2 & 4, May 1, 1939

A statue of George Washington is silhouetted against the 1939 World’s Fair’s “Perisphere” sculpture.

Since the opening of the 1939 World’s Fair on April 30, 1939, coincided with the 150th anniversary of George Washington’s inauguration as the first President of the United States, the commemoration of this anniversary was major theme in the opening ceremonies.  

Excerpted from: Universal Newsreel Volume 11, Release 767, Stories 2 & 4, May 1, 1939

On this Day

Italian immigrant and co-founder of the Planters Peanut Company, Amedeo Obici was born on July 15th, 1877 in Veneto, Italy. Amedeo settled in the Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania region and co-founded the company with another Italian emigre, Mario Peruzzi. The company’s iconic logo of an anthropomorphic gentleman peanut was created by fourteen year old schoolboy Antonio Gentile in 1916.

Bookmark from the Collection on the 1939/1940 New York World’s Fair, Queens Museum, 2011.1.117WF39.

Chorus Girls of The 1939 World’s Fair American Jubilee

Bicycle tricks were a central part of the show. 

The girls with the producer of the show, Albert Johnson. 

A kick-line with the Perisphere and Trylon visible in the background. 

The chorus line warming up. 

Posing again with the two emblems of the 1939 World’s Fair. 

Two chorus girls read a letter during their break. 

A promotional image for the show. 

All images are from the Collection of the New York Public Library.