Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Reflections By The River: EXPO '74

Difficulty: 0

"Mr. President, will you say the magic words?"

(R.M. Nixon) "At 12 Noon on this day

in my capacity as President of the United States,

it is my high honor and privilege to declare "EXPO '74

officially open to all the citizen of the world."

♪ "Meet me by the river" EXPO '74 theme music

♪ "Meet me by the river" EXPO '74 theme music

♪ "Meet me by the river" EXPO '74 theme music

♪ "Meet me by the river" EXPO '74 theme music

(Alison Kartevold) Back in 1974, much of the world's

attention focused on Spokane. Momentarily the country put

aside issues like: the Cold War, energy crisis, and Watergate to

kick-off, the bicentennial, think about the environment, and

welcome the world to Spokane. Millions came here to see a

World's Fair, in six months these visitors were gone, but

Spokane remained forever changed. For 20 years now,

people have cherished these 100 acres of land. Riverfront Park

is Spokane's Crown Jewel. Its existence is the fulfillment of

a dream--a dream accomplished by the most ambitious undertaking

this city has ever seen. It took the power of both man and nature

to create this park. The sage of its birth is the story of Expo

'74. So join me, Alison Kartevold, as we look back at

this story in Reflections by the River of Expo '74.

These falls have always brought people together.

In centuries past, the roar of tumbling water

guided native Americans to tribal

gatherings on the riverbanks. Later, the promise of harnessing

some of its power encouraged pioneers to settle here. Then

slowly, without people giving it much thought, the beauty of this

place became obscured by progress.

Before there was a park, and before there was a fair,

this area was covered with the skeletal remains

of an industrial empire.

Spokane was built on industry.

Its heart and arteries were forged from

railroad steel. Its first decades saw prosperity, but in

the Sixties the times were, indeed, changing.

(Kartevold Question) "What was the Spokane area

like in the 60's?"

(Jack O'Brien) "It was very charming,

it was very peaceful and it was very much behind the

times. We had just really not kept up with the state, with the

region, even with the nation. It was a very comfortable place to

live, but the economy was stagnant; culturally we were

just not in keeping with the world.

Something had to be done."

>>No where was it more blatantly clear that something

needed to be done than here in this area. Now it looks out into

Riverfront Park, but in the 60's this was Spokane's Skid Row.

(Mike Kobluk) "It was urban blight.

Trent Avenue, which right now is the street right

out in front of the Opera House--which became Spokane

Falls Boulevard. It was a series of shops that were less than

your most ideal shops in the city. With two levels of

railroad that came right down Spokane Falls Boulevard--Trent

Avenue then. The 2 levels of railroad and 2 railroad stations

completely blocked off the river from the core of the city and

took what people of Spokane did not realize was an island, and

of course had marshaling yards and railroad yards and

warehouses on that island, as well as, as I mentioned, one

railroad station. So they took this gem of a piece of property

and, over the course of time, had developed it for

their own use."

(Jack Geraghty) "I used to be a newspaper reporter here and

covered the County courthouse, and would walk from the

newspaper offices to across the North Street Bridge to the

courthouse. In those days there were all kind of railroad

trestles going across the river gorge, and I used to think how

fantastic it would be if we could do something in this

community to bring back the river for peoples' use, and that

the people of Spokane--not just the people traveling on the

trains--see the falls, which are really the heart of this

community. So, it was kind of in that vein, and in that spirit,

that as the EXPO project unfolded, and it started out as

a centennial celebration, and also as kind of a continuance of

some urban renewal planning for the city, and I just got caught

up in that. . . >>Jack Geraghty was not the only person who "got

all caught up" in the idea of a World's Fair. King Cole was

hired by an organization called "Spokane Unlimited" in 1963 to

work on rejuvenating the downtown area.

(King Cole) "I wasn't thinking of World's Fair. I was

thinking of something that would be regional at least in

attraction, national in scope as far as the theme and so forth,

and that would be able to attract outside money for the

event. We hired a consultant firm--this is after I'd been

here for about five years, we'd done some things already: we'd

rebuilt the Parkade downtown, and put in trees and

streetlights all over downtown, did a lot of things that could

be done to sort of get the downtown back on its feet,

'cause it was pretty bad. The reason that the World's Fair

appealed to me was that, if we could pull it off, was that it

would do things for the community that you couldn't do

for yourself. It would bring people into the community who

would spend money; and some of that would be left in residual

benefits in physical construction; and it would bring

attention to the community in a way that only large cities can

do, and which we couldn't do in and of ourselves"

>>But could this little industrial town

really put on a World's Fair? As the

60's drew to a close, Spokane only had about 170,000 people in

it. No city that small had ever held a World's Fair before.

Plus, outside the region, its name was virtually unheard of.

However, it did have one thing going for it: an unusually

strong group of potential leaders.

(Jack O'Brien) "One of the most

amazing aspects of EXPO '74 and Spokane and the Spokane

community was the truly unusual level of leadership that emerged

as part of the EXPO '74 project. Admittedly, a lot of these

people were Leaders in the community, but, being very

pragmatic about it, there really wasn't a heck of lot to lead

back in those days. But there were people like Rod Lindsey

with Lincoln Savings, Luke Williams who headed up the

state's EXPO '74 Commission, people like King Cole, and the

list goes on and on. These truly remarkable people who came forth

and without whose leadership this thing never would have

happened" >>Most of these leaders including Luke Williams, came

from the business community.

(Luke Williams) "Well that's really the way it's supposed

to be in America, up until recently the private sector

was the initiator of a lot of projects throughout the

whole country. We didn't even have a Department of Urban

Renewal in Spokane, and so there just weren't any other sources

of money. I think that's one of the good things, because if we

had been waiting for the government to do something, we

probably might still be waiting.

>>Another key factor in the Expo's success

was the home-grown nature of these leaders.

(King Cole) People on my board, I had thirty people on

the board and about 21 of them owned the business that they

were in and therefore didn't have to call to Seattle or New

York to get permission to do anything. And could, if they sat

around a table, and they'd never tried this before, but if they'd

get in a single room and sit around a table, could, if they

wanted to, could come up with enough money to make something

like this happen. Seed Money. And so, after that picture was

painted to the leadership and the board that i was consulting

to they decided that they ought to give it a try >>They gave a

try to the tune of more than five million dollars. Members of

the business community wanted this area cleaned up so badly

that initially that put up 1.3 million dollars of their own

money in an attempt to just get the site approved. Their Seed

Money was not guaranteed. And neither was success.

(Luke Williams) "Well everyone knew there was some gamble to

it, but they also were some pretty intelligent people, Most

of the money, the Seed Money, came from 2 sources:

and the rest of 'em, it wouldn't have hurt

either of those sources if they'd lost the money,

the other people, for lesser amounts, it wouldn't have

killed anyone. Sure there was risk of loss, but it wouldn't

have been calamitous insofar as their individual businesses are

concerned >>The decision to try for a fair was the first step.

But there were many obstacles ahead. Besides getting approval

from the International Exposition Committee in Paris,

the site itself had to be acquired from its various

owners. 15 of the 100 acres that is now Riverfront Park was owned

by three railroad companies. Looking over the area now, it's

hard to imagine the train tracks and trestles that dominated the

landscape. But one reminder of this time is is the People's

Wall. Residents now use it as a canvas to express themselves to

the rest of Spokane. But this mass of concrete is really an

abutment for a train trestle that used to tower ominously

over the Monroe Street Bridge. King Cole says that dealing with

the railroads was like negotiating with world

governments. (Cole) People didn't even want to start

because they didn't see how it could be done. And we just

decided to start--we had to because they had to be off of

they property, it had to be done. People said, well I'll

give you the #1 objection 'Where are you gonna get the money?' So

we went to see the railroads, and we got them to tell us how

much it would take And when they got finished, we said, 'Would

you give us your figures please we want to go back east and see

your bosses back east and we're gonna ask they to donate it. The

next thing was that we had such good cooperation from our major

shippers on the railroad, and if they weren't a major shipper

they had good friends and knew people who were elsewhere in the

country, and they developed a network and got the railroads to

listen to the right people. So by the time people in Portland

and Seattle had finished their work, and very incredulously

handing it to us shaking their heads, we were back in St. Paul

and New York talking the the chairs of the board, and so

forth. The long story short is that four railroads became 2,

and they got off of the site about 20 years earlier than

anyone had dreamed possible. All of 'em. and we didn't pay a cent

for it--they donated all of it." >>Gaining ownership of the

proposed site in 1972 was a major victory. But many other

things also needed to happen it there was going to be a fair

here. The idea of having a world's fair in Spokane

initially developed 8 years before opening day, yet time was

still running short. (Cole) There was just barely enough

time to do it. It takes a lot of time to make these things

happen. For example, just getting your own city council to

do what it has to do so that state government will do what it

has to do 'cause it won't do what it has to do until the city

has done it. And the federal government, which won't do

anything until the city and the state have done something--those

things are all like steps on a ladder, and they have to be

built one ladder step at a time to make it happen. >>Another

rung on that ladder was public opinion.

(George Reitmeirer) They ranged from people in Seattle

saying "For god's sakes don't embarrass our state,

you can't put one on successfully"; to "Grab it! Go

for the gusto!" to everything in between was there. >>In 1971

local opinion created the most pivotal point of Expo's

development. (Jack Geraghty) By and large, i think the people of

the city just had a wait and see attitude. On the one hand, the

possibility of a World's Fair in Spokane was very intriguing, but

on the other hand, some of the things that that might bring was

certainly not. There was only one vote--a lot of people are

confused about this--there was only one vote, community-wide

vote, that had anything to do with the fair. It had to do with

a bond issue, a very small portion of the fair funding,

about 5 million dollars, that was to go for the city's part of

putting in the infrastructure for the fairgrounds: water lines

and that kind of stuff. And the people voted 58 per cent in

favor of that, but it needed 60%.

(O'Brien) And that was the reason why

Mayor Rogers called a meeting of the business

community and said ok, folks, it's up to you. We want to have

an EXPO. The city has a major role to play in developing the

site for EXPO, we can't do it without the money, the revenue

necessary to do that job. The only source that we have,

available to us, is the B&O tax. Now you tell us, what do you

want us to do? And the business community, very reluctantly,

said go ahead and vote it in. But, put a dollar limit on it.

5.7 million dollars. And at the time that that amount of money

was raised, then the B&O tax came off. As i recall, it only

took about two years to raise that amount of money, and the

minute that total was reached, then we cut it off. That was the

end of the B&O tax, for that time.

>>Passage of the B&O tax

solved another problem that could have derailed the EXPO

project. But there was still areas of public dispute. Even as

demolition began on the railroad trestles, a strong movement was

underway to save some of Spokane's railroad heritage by

leaving the train station standing. The save our station's

campaign divided households.

(Cole) "Even my kids, a couple of my

kids thought that we ought to save that station. And they had

a great motto: "SOS", you know? But those who wanted to get rid

of the station prevailed. The main thing was that we had the

railroads coming off the river, and even the Great Northern

station, which was next door and across the river, is only left

by the residual of a tower, which is there as a memory. But

the station itself had no value at all. It took up space on a

site that was already too small to put a world's fair on. We had

another station, the Northern Pacific, two blocks south, which

someday, and it turns out now, would be remodeled. >>While the

business community in Spokane focused its attention on the

EXPO task, the rest of the world was concentrating on much

different issues.

♪ ♪

Spiro Agnew: "I think that there's a little mischief

going on with regard to the end the war amendment."

"How serious a problem will the gasoline situation be for the

visitors from your state?" "I am the chairman of the Western

States Governor's Conference, and we've been working on it a

great deal, and we feel that we will have a sufficient

amount of gasoline."

Lee Iaccoca: "You're gonna see in the next 10 years a

continuing movement to small efficient packages

on all car lines"

Jimmy Carter: "I believe that the President is guilty of

action that would warrant his dismissal"

"We've done some research and development

at the Bell Telephone Laboratories regarding

the ultimate in portable telephones, you know

the kind that might resemble a James Bond thing, a pen where

you talk into it and so forth. We're not at that point, but

we're looking at all the possibilities.

>>In the early '70's, most people in Spokane

paid only passing attention to this world's fair idea.

They were far too busy living their private lives

to heed the commotion downtown. But there

were a few people anxiously awaiting the fairs arrival.

Using his 8mm movie camera, one man actually decided to capture

the metamorphosis of the site from beginning to end. Ed

Thompson is a self-appointed Spokane historian.

(Ed Thompson) Really i am, in a way, a historian.

I've preserved things that nobody else has got.

Nobody has got what i had on film--I know that.

Cause i was the only...sometimes I used to see

people down there with a still camera, you know, takin'

snapshots once in a while, but I was the only one with a movie

camera that I knew of anyway when i was around taking

pictures. And now I'm glad i did because a lot of people maybe

get a chance to see this, whereas it laid in my basement

for 20 years and nobody ever'd looked at it.

>>Now his film helps take us on a journey

back in time. He was there when the

double-decker trestle, nicknamed the "Chinese Wall" fell to the

wrecking ball in 1972. And as he chronicled the countdown

displayed in the Clock Tower, there were times when he thought

that they would never get it all done by opening day.

(Thompson) No, I didn't, because in my movies

I was sayin', 'Gosh, the days--you know

they had the days on the Clock Tower up there, how many

more days until EXPO--and I thought, 'How in the Dickens are

the ever gonna get this done by that time?' >>These directly

involved in the project wondered this, too. But, at the same time

they felt great pride in what they had already accomplished.

(King Cole) I used to come down from my home here, I used to go

down the hill, down Grand Boulevard, and on down

Washington Street, come out and come underneath the trestle on

Washington Street and look up and there I would see nothing

but a big trestle across my vision, which was on Trent,

which is now Spokane Falls Boulevard. "The morning I came

out from under it and there was nothing there, in my heart I

knew that, if nothing else worked from that day on, Spokane

had done most of its job. The main thing was finished. They

could handle everything else--it would be costly, it would be

time-consuming, it would be full of. . .it would be no fun, but

it would be done. But, the work was over when that happened. And

that's how good it. . . that's how big it was

for us in Spokane.

Even as the old structures came down, crisis

management continued to be a way of life for the EXPO project.

(Jack Gerhaty) In the early going we kind of stumbled around

a little bit in getting the Fair off the ground, and we had some

fits and starts, and there were a couple of times when we went

home at night and we thought, 'Well, it's all over. We aren't

gonna go ahead' "A lot of it had to do with funding; and putting

together all the many things that had to come together. The

railroads deciding almost on a minute's notice to vacate the

site, to getting the caliber and quantity of exhibitors that we

needed to make the show a success; lining up all the

entertainment was a remarkable undertaking for a

community of this size."

>>As demolition on the site continued,

King Cole traveled the world trying to secure

foreign exhibitors. In May of 1972, the Soviet Union shocked

skeptics and thawed a little Cold War ice by announcing its

participation. The USSR was the first country to commit to EXPO

'74, the first World's Fair with an environmental theme.

(Reitmeyer) This is an area

that has always been concerned with the environment.

Many people would disagree with that, but it is an area where

people have been interested in outdoor activities; have been

interested in making the outdoors a big part of their

life. Skiing, hunting fishing, you name it. So it was a natural

that "Man and His Environment" was, a topic that came up very

quickly in the discussion. >>The theme of celebrating tomorrow's

fresh new environment also seemed natural because of the

site. Nature is what made this place so appealing. Enclosed in

this 100 acres are two islands, and a series of cascading

waterfalls that rival any across the country. Especially when you

consider their location at the heart of a city. The

environmental theme gave Spokane a chance to clean up the site

and the river. But it did not necessarily please area


(Ed Reynolds) "Well the idea of cleaning up that ghastly

downtown area with all the overhead railways, and that kind

of thing, was something that interested me a lot. The idea of

doing something that would focus on the environment was something

that interested me a lot. But from the outset, I was kind of

suspicious about the people who were putting it together because

that didn't appear to be a group...I knew very well that

wasn't a group who was involved in the environmental movement in

Spokane. And my belief was, and still is, that the folks who put

those things together are primarily interested in

economics, and not the environment.

(Gerhaty) We were criticized a lot for

'Well, you're really putting on a show,

it's not really an environmental Fair.' But we did do a lot to

stick with the theme: we had, during the course of the Fair we

had an environmental symposium series; we did insist that some

of the development would be environmentally sensitive--and

that's hard to do when you have an entertainment event-- but

nevertheless, I think in the long-run it really worked, and

it made Spokane much more environmentally conscious than

it ever was before. >>There are those who disagree, and think

EXPO officials had to be prodded into following an environmental

track while developing the Fair. But there is no denying that,

with encouragement from area environmentalists, a monumental

step was taken. A then relatively new procedure called,

"An Environmental Impact Study" was done on the EXPO site.

(David Peterson) I believe we were the first

entity in the State of Washington, we may have been the

first entity related to any federal program, to file an

environmental impact statement in the United States. >>Though

the timely theme caused some extra work, it was not one of

the major problems EXPO officials had to overcome.

(David Pearson) The main problems dealt much more with

the problems of selling the idea internationally that Spokane

could have a Fair, getting the international exhibitors to

commit early enough so that we could get domestic exhibitors to

commit. Getting down payments of money to match with all the

pledges and all the early "risk financing". I mean, this

community, which is not a large one, had to risk millions and

millions of dollars without ever even knowing if we could reach

opening day. >>Part of those millions went into marketing

the area: (Announcer) "Spokane Washington, site of the World

Environmental Fair. >>Films like this were made to show Spokane

off. It is much easier to sell the idea of a place if people

know something about it. And the more interesting a place looks,

the better. For this reason, it was decided to market not just

Spokane, but the entire Northwest. Announcer: "Within an

easy day's drive from EXPO '74 you'll find the rugged Cascade

Mountains of Washington, Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks,

as well as the treacherous Snake River and Hell's Canyon Country

of Idaho." (Jane Johnson) That was certainly a strategy

because, although we knew that our attendance

was probably going to come from a 300-mile radius,

a lot of the spots did try, particularly those outside the

state of Washington state, try to attract people to the total

Pacific Northwest: the Canadian Rockies, the coast, certainly

Glacier National Park, that it wasn't just a stop at the Fair.

And that seemed to work, too. >>They also used big names to

help draw interest to the Fair. Bob Hope: "I'm on the road

again--this time to EXPO '74 in Spokane Washington. it's so

lush, you wouldn't believe it's Crosby's home town. >>Spots like

this worked great, but Mike Kobluk remembers the long, hard

road to getting people like Bob Hope interested in the Fair.

(Mike Kobluk) Joe Rosenfield used to ask me to come to the

Board of Director's meeting a make a presentation on "What's

Happening in Entertainment". And, of course, for the first

year or two, I would go to some of these meetings and I would

have to report that 'Well, so far, the Jumping Jills, who do a

skip rope act from...I don't know where, from the Tri-Cities,

is gonna be on the site for Two Performances!" And, of course

the Board of Directors would yawn and say, 'Oh my gosh, is

that really the extent to which we're going? Is that really

where we're headed?' And then I'd come back a week later and

have to give another presentation, 'Well, we've

written all these letters, and done all this stuff, made these

calls we're making progress, and now we have "The high school

marching band" . it stated off real slow. >>t may have started

slow, but it ended strong. Anybody who was anybody during

the early '70s made their way to EXPO '74.

>>Never before, or since, would so many big name entertainers

be in Spokane during such a short period of time.

Kobluk: "Someone said that

we were the entertainment capital of the world for six

months. And I have to tell you that I cringed when I first

heard that because I thought, 'Are you kidding? Spokane,

Washington? Yes it's going to be important. Yes it's gonna be

great. But, really, Spokane the capital of entertainment for the

entire country? Next to New York and Los Angeles and Seattle, and

whatever?" But doggone, as I look back on it, I think we

were. We had an extremely important series of events that

were both international in nature, that were local in

nature, that were regional in nature, and that offered a wide

variety for everything, for everyone who wanted to see or

do something over six months."

>>Before the visitors could come,

the site had to be completed. Ground was broken for the US

pavilion in the fall of 1972. It would be the focal point of both

the Fair, and Riverfront Park. (David Pearson) Keep in mind

that we had to plan a Fair, and we had to plan a way that six

months later, when it went away, the park would be left in a

state that we wanted the park to be in. And those were two

different--entirely different--equations. So, first

you do your Master Plan for what the Fair should be, and then you

say 'Does this make any sense? Are we leaving behind the kind

of park that we want to leave behind?' "But the concept was,

obviously, to put the federal pavilion at the center, at the

top part of Havermale Island, there at the northern edge,

where it could be both the center of the Fair and the

residual pavilion could be at the center. And I think that

worked very well. And then we did sort of a radial theory

around it, with the international governments right

around it, and the domestic exhibits were farther out to the

edge. That was two-fold: one of the reasons was that we thought

that would be a nice relationship; the other was, we

built the international exhibition, and so we wanted to

be able to build that in a tight area. We allowed the domestics

to build their own--we built some, but they were able to

build their own. Those were the greatest quantity of unknowns.

Well, if you're gonna leave a gap, you'd rather leave it at

the edges and bring the fences in than you would in the center.

So, that was some of that Master Planning process. >>And what a

Master Plan it was! In spite of all the obstacles, EXPO '74

opened in Spokane on May 4th to a crowd of 85,000 people.

"()in three and a half years we

went from a site that we didn't own, with railroads

crossing it to a brand new open World's Fair, all built

within budget' open on opening day"

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

>>For the six months

EXPO '74 ran every day was like the Fourth of July. Each and

every one even ended with fireworks.

In fact, the Fair marked the kick-off

of the country's Bicentennial Celebration.

From the opening ceremonies on, the first

environmental World's Fair was a hit! Everywhere it's mobius

strip symbol--with green for the growing things, blue for the

water, and white for the air, represented our eternal link to

the environment. Divided into color-coded sections, with giant

butterflies marking the gates, the site itself was a very

user-friendly environment. The ground were designed so visitors

could see it all in about three days. But many spent even more

time taking in the sights here. The most prominent of the sights

to be seen was the U.S. pavilion. Perched at the top of

the newly-landscaped Havermale Island, it was the largest

pavilion at EXPO, and one of three structures designed to

remain after the fair closed. The United States government

erected this web of steel and vinyl to house a courtyard and

exhibits showing the federal approach to environmental

issues. Plus, the world's largest IMAX theater screen.

Nine countries, besides the United States, had pavilions

scattered across the fair site. Canada teamed up with the

provinces of British Columbia and Alberta to transform Canon

Island into Canada Island. After years of industry, the emphasis

was once again placed on the area's natural beauty.

Greeter: "Hi, welcome to Canada island. As you can see,

we have an awful lot of fun around here."

>>Korea, the Republic of China, and Japan

all brought a feeling of the Orient to the Fair.

And the Pacific Rim met Europe when the Philippines

and West Germany shared a building.

The Philippines showed the beauty of tradition.

German man: "In our building we are not only showing

a documentation of environmental problems, ...[fade]" While West

Germany used modern technology to display the Fair's

environmental theme: (announcer): "Technology and

industry have given us prosperity.

But they've also brought hazards

to the environment." "Polluted air, contaminated

water, mountains of garbage, incessant noise..."

>>Another pavilion located on the river's edge became home to our

neighbors down under. The Australians were popular hosts

at EXPO '74. Aussie man's voice: "Could you open it up for me?

And there's a little gift for mommy in memory of there being a

hundred thousand visitors to our pavilion. And there's a little

bit of a 'warm you up'' for dad." Aussie woman: "This is

part of the Australian pavilion, right next to the beautiful

Spokane River Falls. We're going to show you a lot about

Australia in 1974. We're going to show you about our ancient

country and its beauty, we're also going to show you about

some of the terrible tragedy that man has made on the earth."

(Kobluk) The Australians were fabulous. The Australians used

to have above their exhibit a small dining area.

And the Australians love to have dinner parties,

late dinner parties, usually. So

after a performance on the Opera House stage, they would invite

certain artists over for a wonderful dinner, a wonderful

evening. >>Looking back at the Fair can illustrate how the

world 1974 Iran was an ally of the United States,

and openly shared its culture with the world at its pavilion.

And the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was also

represented at EXPO '74. Whether it was due to its overwhelming

size, or the mystique of its cool relationship with the

United States, people went to see the 54,500 sq. ft.

building in droves.

For many, this was the first real look at a land

and people they had been raised to distrust.

(Geraghty) "We had a lot of fun

with the Russians. The, you know, the Soviet Union

and the US were not the best of friends, and the

soviet people that were here were really great and charming

people for the most part, but we also had the KGB agents, and

stuff, and that was kind of interesting." Russian woman:

"While being in the United States, everywhere we felt

hospitality. And I like to thank you for this warm and cordial

reception. (Jane Johnson) "They couldn't go outside a certain

radius outside of Spokane. They always traveled in pairs. They

were not allowed to go alone shopping or any of those things,

so there were a lot of interesting kinds of cultural

differences that we had to overcome and understand. And I

think that was all very positive for the community."

>>Mixed among the foreign pavilions

was a seeming endless array of domestic exhibits

and entertainment.

(Mike Kobluk) "Part of my job was

to try find the on-site entertainment. To try to

find the groups that were going to perform on the site.

The concept was, that every time you turned the corner there was

supposed to be something happening, so we were going to

be looking for the bands, the musical events, the clowns, the

jugglers, the magicians and those kinds of things, all

throughout the site, so that when a visitor came to the site,

there would be, not only the pavilions to see, but all this

free entertainment."

>>One of the most popular areas to find an

ever-changing variety of this free entertainment was the Folk

Life Festival located on the north bank of the river.

(Robert Glatzer) What we wanted ot do in Folk Life

was to bring people into immediate and prolonged

contact with cultures and heritages and traditions and

activities that they might not have had a chance to see before

in their own lives. After all, Spokane at that time was a very

old-fashioned city. I used to say it was like walking into a

Booth Tarkington novel: there was the heavy hand of

Anglo-Saxon mentality and mores that hung over this whole

region. People who weren't of the British persuasion were

self-conscious and often intimidated about expressing

their own heritage. We asked ourselves what were the

heritages of occupations and traditions in the Northwest:

railroading, logging, mining. Well, we had visitors come and

pan for gold. And we would have logging shows 3 times a day 7

days a week for 6 months, and we would invite visitors--not to do

chopping or buck-sawing, or anything like that--but we would

invite them to do log-rolling if they wanted to do it; talk to

railroad men--we had a Union-Pacific locomotive on the

site, manned by old Union-Pacific people--and so we

had those. We had quilters who would invite people to come and

sit down and work with them on the EXPO quilt, which they did.

"So those were the kinds of things that we had. We had boat

builders from Puget Sound that actually came and built a wooden

sailing ship during the six months of EXPO. Those were the

things people could get into. Then every week we had an ethnic

group and perhaps another cultural heritage group, who

would come and do things like cook or dance or play

games--traditional things--tell stories, share things like that

with visitors." Reporter: "The Folk life Festival region at

EXPO '74 is this week featuring Ukrainian arts and crafts and

entertainment. And fairgoers are given a chance to participate in

many of the exhibits, and learn a little bit more about the

Ukrainian culture. "Are you baking all this stuff right on

the grounds here?" "Yes we are, with the exception of the two

larger ones, they were brought in from Vancouver. Canada. The

stoves here are not large enough so we're not able to do it. But

we are showing them, demonstrating them, how to do

these, and how we make twirls, how we make the various designs,

how we make the doves. I've made a batch over there, as you can

see, and the various designs, and this gives the people an

idea just how we apply the various designs to our wedding

breads, or to our Easter paskas." >>And, if things got a

little slow at the festival, well, that was nothing a little

gold rush couldn't solve. (Glatzer) "We had these

wonderful, wonderful prospectors who were just great with people.

They were for real, they came from Murray Idaho, and they were

miners for all of their lives. Anyway, they were very good at

"palming" little nuggets--now there are no nuggets of gold in

this area, but nobody knew that at the time--so they would come

over and they would help someone to pan for gold, and they would

say 'nows here's what you gotta do, and you've gotta kind of

swish it this way and that". And here, from their palm they would

just let this nugget go into the thing. 'O my goodness, look what

you've got!' And there just happened to be a camera crew

there watching it. Well, it was that kind of thing. >>The

possibility of gold may have brought some people to the site,

but, all in all, it was the sharing of culture that seemed

to have a lasting effect on everyone involved. (Glatzer) I

think that they recognized that they had something worthwhile in

themselves. And we saw, after EXPO, a lot of these ethnic

groups and cultures found the strength in themselves to keep

on going and to renew themselves. And even to grow in

strength and ability. If there was any legacy of the Folk life

Festival, I would guess that was it.

>>One of the most important

legacies left to Spokane as a result of the Fair are the Opera

House and Convention Center. (Luke Williams) O I think

without a doubt, we never would have had it without EXPO '74.

The state paid about $10 million dollars to build those

facilities, and Governor Dixie Lee Ray sold it to the city for

a dollar, and that's a bargain. And we never would have been

able to finance or fund that type of a facility. Of course,

it's been used and appreciated by so many people. Not only for

Spokane, but for the whole Inland Northwest.

>>For the first time in Spokane, crowds of up to 2700 people

could gather to see world class productions in a

world class facility.

(Kobluk) I remember Bing Crosby coming in,

who did not perform at the

World's Fair but who came as a guest, and standing on the stage

and saying: 'Ah, let me try this out, Ba-Ba-Ba-Boo.' And he said,

'This is really a fabulous auditorium. I'm going to have to

come back here and play sometime'. And he whistled off,

and we never could get him to come back." >>Bing Crosby didn't

play this house, but many others have. And it all started with

the parade of world famous performers that came to EXPO

'74. (Kobluk) "The Opera House was built as part of the State's

participation in the World's Fair, and it lifted Spokane's

performing arts capability to a new and unknown level. And

certainly the attached Convention Center, and now the

Ag Trade Center with that, put Spokane in a different league as

far as meetings and conferences are concerned. More than that, I

think what the World's Fair did, as far as I'm concerned, is that

it made people understand that we can do things in Spokane,

that we don't have to take a back seat to anybody, and the

sky's the limit, and that imagination is the only

limitation." >>During the six months the fair was open, more

than 5 million people came through these gates to see just

what Spokane could offer. And it was hard to find

anyone who was disappointed.

(Georrge Reitemeier) I think the community tolerated

it up til opening day. They were impressed by opening day, and

they bought into it about 4 days later--maybe a week later.

Because they found out it was exactly what it was represented

to be. Spokane sometimes is a bit reluctant to accept that

which is stated on a public issue. And in this particular

case they found out that it was exactly what it was supposed to

be. And then you couldn't find anyone who voted against it.

They'd all moved out of town. (Jane Johnson) It was sort of

fun to see that happen, because those who had been some of the

biggest critics, all of a sudden were pretty proud of what they

saw, and the fact that it was moving and doing well. We had a

wonderful summer >>But as with all things people seem to hold

most dear, the summer inevitably came to an end. The Fair closed

on a dark and cold November night. President Ford was now in

office, but he was not present. His message to the crowd was

recorded. The fireworks were grand, but similar displays had

been seen every night for the past six months. In short, the

closing did not have the same Pomp and Circumstance of the

opening, but it did serve its purpose. Those responsible for

EXPO '74 were happy it was over. They were also proud of what it

had been. (King Cole) "The memory for me is that after the

ceremony was all over people I knew who were out in the

audience came up to me and everybody was crying: 'Could we

keep it going a little longer? It was so beautiful! We'll never

forget it. And I just had a terrible time to keep from

smiling. I was so happy it was over. It was such a stretching,

such a stressful kind of a thing to go through. And to have it

happen without mishaps or problems, to have it come off

the way it was supposed to do. I probably shouldn't have

smiled as heavy as I did, but i sure was glad it was over. It

was done, it was done well. i was glad for everybody in

Spokane who took so many risks, and worked so hard. And so many

of them had to leave town because that was their job, and

they would have nice memories of us, but. . . I mean, the

Commissioner General, who went on to become an Ambassador from

Canada, he came back here just to visit one time at some sort

of a commemoration, and he said he'll never forget Spokane. He

said that's the fair of all Expos, and he's been to all of

them now, he's been the President of the Bureau of

international Expositions in Paris, and he said that this is

the one, not the big one, not the expensive one, not the one

with the great excitement, he said that this is the one that

he remembers as the one being so perfectly conceived and so

well-delivered and that had such a warm feeling to it. Now that's

a pretty nice way to have anybody leave you

when they leave town.

>>The day after the fair closed workers were already

busy tearing the place apart. Man being interviewed: "The

first priority occurred last night--we removed 289 light

bollards off the sight to protect them from damage. And

the warehouse crew and the grounds crew worked all night.

And this morning why the concessionaires started to move

in and take out their concessions, in fact some of

them are already completely gone. And after this process,

the international pavilions and the domestic pavilions will

remove all of their material. And then we will go into the

phase of actually removing 243,000 sq. ft. of buildings and

concrete and so forth. >>As much as some would have liked it to

remain as it was during EXPO, it would not. (King Cole) "And on

purpose. The Bureau of International Expositions gave

us permission to have an exposition of a special

category, which one of the requirements was that none of

the buildings were permanent. We had to take them all down. And

we liked that because we wanted to have a park, and the more you

leave up, the harder it is to get rid of. So we could just say

'I'm sorry, the rules are set. We have to take 'em down. >>By

design only three buildings remained where they were during

the fair. Its vinyl top is now just a memory, and the IMAX

theater has been moved to the side, but the U.S. pavilion is

still a prominent fixture of the Spokane skyline. The Opera House

and Convention Center--which has since been expanded--are also

city landmarks. And the unique copper-topped building which was

the temporary home to the Bavarian Beer Gardens during the

fair, was always meant to be the permanent home of the

now-beloved carousel. After the fair, the city wasted little

time transforming this area into a park. (Jack O'Brien) "That's

what we were committed to do, and we honored that commitment.

But, I think probably the most important contribution that that

park has made to Spokane is that it has provided a kind of an

anchor to downtown. Downtown Spokane is different from most

other downtowns because it has Riverfront Park, see. And even

though that has seen its peaks and valleys since EXPO '74, it's

still there, it's still functional, and it's still to a

very, very commendable degree serving the purpose for which it

was intended." >>The park itself is an important legacy to

Spokane residents, but so is the self-esteem which was built

along with it. (Jack O'Brien) "Probably more than any other

measurable impact, it was in their opinion of themselves. In

their own ego as a community. Up until that time Spokane had been

just sort of a nice sort of a railroad town that had grown up

because there were a lot of wheat fields around us, and a

lot of mines to the east of us. But, beyond that we really

weren't all that much. But then all of a sudden, we're a good

enough, a big enough, a strong enough town to put on an

International Exposition. And I think it changed, at least for

those days, the image that people had of themselves in

Spokane. That we are different; that we are 'Spokane'."

Now, some people may say,

that these are qualities that people of this city

no longer possess. But others believe that you just have to

know where to look. (King Cole) "We gotta keep on being

nice to each other, and thoughtful. Not only thoughtful,

but thoughtful in the buildings you build; thoughtful in the

ways you raise your children; thoughtful the way the children

act, and in the way business people treat their employees and

treat each other. "We always very close to being successful

in that, very close to major success, and we came there

during the fair. We hit it because the stimulus was there.

And it'll come back full bore anytime we want it to--if we

want it to."

>>What the future holds for Spokane and the park is

another story we will have to wait for time to reveal.

However, there's no denying the impact that EXPO '74 had on

Spokane. Countless people gave part of themselves to make it,

and this park, a reality. And they realize that most of the

people who enjoy it today and in the years to come will never

even know their names. But as one EXPO official put it,

'That's okay, as long as Spokanites do remember that once

there was a generation that cared enough about this city's

future to give its people a legacy they can be proud of.'

The Description of Reflections By The River: EXPO '74