For people of my generation, especially those of you who live in the States, we were in our mid-teens the last time the US held a World's Fair. I was 15 or 16 when the Fair was held in New Orleans in 1984 - that was the last one (I don't even remember hearing about it!). In fact, for some of us the only reference to the World's Fair could possibly be the hilarious Simpsons episode where Bart, Milhouse, Nelson and Martin Prince road trip to Knoxville, TN, the site of the 1982 World's Fair (which was actually quite popular in real life, and turned a small profit of $57, but left Knoxville $46 million in debt!). Here's a recap to refresh your memory. :D
Other popular expos from this time period were Seattle (1962), which produced the Space Needle; and Montreal, which hosted "Expo '67" to commemorate 100 years of independence (and was the most popular World's Fair of the 20th century). I have ephemera from two different World's Fairs - the aforementioned New York fair in 1964-65:
|World's Fair napkin, 1965|
|Unused World's Fair pass, available at Old Stuff Only|
|"Hemisfair '68" bag, available at|
Old Stuff Only
It appears that, for the next decade and a half, anyway, there will be no expos or "World's Fairs" held anywhere in North America. It's interesting to note that developing countries are in the forefront with these expos now, with Kazakhstan, Turkey and Thailand all bidding for the 2017 or 2020 Expos.
I have used some of my ephemera in my collage work - one of the napkins from the New York World's Fair:
Is the era of the World's Fair over? Only time will tell!