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1964: The New York World's Fair

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The theme of the 1964 World's Fair in New York City was "Peace Through Understanding". 650 acres of pavilions, public spaces and displays from exhibitors around the world. Countries, cities, corporations, and private groups set up shop to display their ideas and accomplishments to more than 50 million visitors. Corporate America was heavily-represented, with one of the most-remembered exhibits being General Motors' Futurama, displaying colorful and imaginative views of future society. Collected here are some views of the 1964 World's Fair, a half-century after it first opened -- the last of five entries focusing on events of the year 1964. Be sure to see all earlier 1964 entries as well: The World 50 Years Ago, Civil Rights Battles, Beatlemania, and Alaska's Good Friday Earthquake. [32 photos]

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The Unisphere, the 12-story stainless-steel globe at the heart of the 1964 World's Fair, and its symbol around the world. (CC BY SA Flickr user PLCjr)
The Unisphere, the 12-story stainless-steel globe at the heart of the 1964 World's Fair, and its symbol around the world. (CC BY SA Flickr user PLCjr)
A mantle of snow covers the construction site of the 1964 World's Fair in New York City on February 19, 1964. In the foreground is the Chrysler Motors Exhibit, backed by the skeleton dome of the Travel and Transportation Pavilion. At far left is the New York City building, with the fair's symbol, the Unisphere, behind it. (AP Photo) #
Carpenter Henry Johnson doesn't seem to concerned about his clutch of prehistoric companions at the Sinclair Oil Exhibit in the World's Fair grounds, New York City, February 19, 1964. The Ferris wheel-like contraption behind Johnson to the right is the U.S. Rubber Exhibit. (AP Photo/John Lindsay) #
President Lyndon B. Johnson is flanked by Lady Bird Johnson and Norman K. Winston, head of the U.S. Pavilion as he walks through the New York World's Fair grounds on his way to the U.S. Pavilion on May 9, 1964. (AP Photo) #
Jetpack over the Unisphere. Performer Robert Courter flies past the Unisphere at the New York World's Fair on May 13, 1964 wearing a rocket outfit that was originally developed for the U.S. army. The outfit, according to its manufacturer, can fly a distance of 815 feet at speeds of 60 miles an hour. Courter performs in the "Wonder World" musical at the fair. (AP Photo/JL) #
The Swiss sky ride at the New York World's Fair on April 23, 1964. (AP Photo) #
The New York State Pavilion at the New York World's Fair. (AP Photo) #
A prehistoric monster stands within sight of a 20th century rocket on April 9, 1964, symbolic of the pageant of world history presented by various exhibits at the New York World's Fair. (AP Photo) #
Upon arrival at the fair, most visitors look for the highest vantage point to take in the vast panorama of the grounds in New York, May 12, 1964. While not the highest point, the roof of the Eastern Kodak Pavilion offers views in all directions and is one of the popular stops on the sightseeing tour. (AP Photo/John Lindsay) #
Actress Shirley MacLaine rides the New York subway on her way to the World's Fair for the premiere of her film "What A Way to Go" on May 13, 1964. (AP Photo/Marty Zimmerman) #
Visitors attend the New York World's Fair on the first Sunday the fair is open to the public in Flushing, Queens on April 26, 1964.(AP Photo) #
Michigan Governor George Romney and his son, Mitt, look out over the New York World's Fair grounds from the heliport after attending a Michigan breakfast at the Top of the Fair Restaurant. The governor and a large delegation from Michigan were in attendance for Michigan Day at the fair. At right is part of the Chrysler exhibit and behind them is the Ford exhibit. (AP Photo) #
One many displays designed to brief youngsters on the fundamentals of atomic energy at the Atomic Energy Commission's "Atomsville, U.S.A.", this one demonstrates relative weight. By pushing the oversize buttons connected to equal size cubes of different elements behind the portholes, the children learn that size and weight of copper, Iron, lead and uranium blocks are deceiving. Uranium is ten times as heavy as the same size block of aluminum. Atomsville was the AEC's exhibit for children at the World's Fair Hall of Science pavilion. (AP Photo/DP) #
An audio-animatronic Abraham Lincoln, in his familiar dark suit with facial features based on an actual mask of the President rises from a seated position at the start of a nine-minute performance and walks toward the audience at the Illinois Pavilion at the New York World's Fair, May 15, 1964. The six-foot 4-inch figure was created by Walt Disney. (AP Photo/Bob Goldberg) #
One of the Brass Rail lunch bars at the World's Fair gives the appearance of a mass of balloons tied together on August 11, 1964. The towers at right are observation platforms, part of the New York State pavilion. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler) #
General view of the New York World's Fair taken from the New York State tower on April 27, 1964. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler) #
A futuristic grocery shopping trip, envisioned at teh General Motors Pavilion at the World's Fair, New York in 1964. (AP Photo) #
A Picturephone is demonstrated at the AT&T Pavilion at the 1964 World's Fair. The fair introduced more than 50 million visitors to a range of technological innovations and predictions for how the future would look. (AP Photo/AT&T) #
A future vision of the American Southwest in the Futurama exhibit in the General Motors Pavilion. Crops thrive in soil irrigated by desalted sea water. Machines operated by remote control plant and harvest the crops. (AP Photo) #
An all-weather port cut deep into the Antarctic ice shelf, part of GM's Futurama exhibit at the World's Fair. (AP Photo) #
A model of a deep hole cut into Antarctic ice, leading to a weather station, where technicians can prepare forecasts embracing whole continents, part of GM's Futurama exhibit at the World's Fair. (AP Photo) #
An envisioned global weather station, far below the Antarctic ice, part of GM's Futurama exhibit at the World's Fair. (AP Photo) #
A future life underwater, where the ocean floor is tapped for oil and vacationers relax at a resort beneath the surface, part of GM's Futurama exhibit at the World's Fair. (AP Photo) #
A city of the future offers a dazzling finale to the Futurama exhibit at the New York World's Fair. (AP Photo/Ruben Goldberg) #
More views of the city of the future, where new and old architecture live side-by-side, part of GM's Futurama exhibit at the World's Fair. (AP Photo) #
A detail of the previous photo of the city of the future, featuring automated roadways, landing ports for aircraft that can take off and land vertically, and 35-story parking garages, part of GM's Futurama exhibit at the World's Fair. (AP Photo) #
The city of the future, part of GM's Futurama exhibit at the World's Fair. (AP Photo) #
Urban and suburban planning for the future, envisioned in GM's Futurama exhibit at the World's Fair. (AP Photo) #
Space stations and spacecraft dot the night sky in GM's Futurama exhibit at the World's Fair. (AP Photo) #
From the official guide book entry on Futurama: "A trip to the moon starts the ride taking the visitor past a scale model whose craters and canyons are dotted with manned 'lunar-crawlers' and commuter space ships." (AP Photo) #
A car of the future on display at the General Motors Pavilion. (AP Photo) #
A night view of the New York World's Fair, on April 27, 1964. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler) #

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