'Tomorrow-Land': Examining The Cultural Impact of The 1964-65 World's Fair

Friday, January 03, 2014

The Unisphere in the Queens borough of New York City on September 6, 2007. The Unisphere, designed by Gilmore D. Clarke, it was put in place to celebrate the 1964/1965 New York World's Fair. (Nick Laham/Getty)

This week marked a changing of the guard in New York City. As Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 12-year tenure ended, The Takeaway is thinking about another utterly unique era in the city's history.

Fifty years ago, New York City was a very different place when it hosted visitors from around the world for the World's Fair of 1964-65. Joseph Tirella, author of “Tomorrow-Land: The 1964-65 World’s Fair and the Transformation of America,” examines how the 1964-65 World's Fair represented a changing United States, a country transfixed by technology and rapid transition. 


Joseph Tirella

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja and Mythili Rao


T.J. Raphael

Comments [3]

Jolie from Mount Laurel NJ

I love this! Trying to read on my iPhone requires a microscope, but I have just one question. As a Queens child & teen, as a Bay Terrace resident from my early 20s to early 40s, as a South Jersey "mature adult" who lived in Cherry Hill and now lives in Mt Laurel one town over, I must ask you: Who is (or were) the Cherry Hill Gang?

Jan. 05 2014 10:46 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

As a teenager in the seventies, I rode my bike around the abandoned buildings of the World's Fair every day. The Cherry Hill Gang, and The Corona Boys would control the park...It was my first experience with a Mad Max/ Planet Of The Apes/ Clockwork Orange, kind of end of the world mentality.
I went to the fair as a five year old. I had a great time and did not know the financial problems of the fair and the disrepair it would fall into.

Now, the park has been revitalized and I can bring my kids to the Science Hall, the art museum, and the Zoo and then drag them to see the Mets lose, and then eat in the greatest Chinatown New York has to offer.

Oh we once broke into Shea and stole the Jets uniforms. We put them on and played football in them till the cops came. I had Namath's shirt on.We all played our hearts out.

Jan. 03 2014 02:10 PM
Steven Levine from Brooklyn

To say that Moses' vision or NYC in the 1950s and 60's was 5th Ave and Central Park is an exaggeration. For better and for worse, this was an era of slum clearance, the massive construction of public housing,and publicly subsidized middle income housing,(much of it union sponsored). Moses' determination to build Flushing Meadows/Corona Park belies a totally Manhattan centered vision. I am not a Moses fan, but let's not caricature him.

Jan. 03 2014 10:05 AM

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