• Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

Spokane’s Pursuit of the Great American Expo: The Story of Expo ’74

BySamantha Nguyen

Apr 3, 2024
The World’s Fair transformed Spokane’s downtown 50 years ago

Spokane officials sought guidance from Seattle, which had hosted a fair in 1962, to organize their own world’s fair, Youngs said. They were advised that a fair was a great idea and should be pursued. With the help of Spokane businesses, leaders managed to secure pledges of $1.3 million in start-up funds and nearly $12 million in state tax dollars to construct the Washington State Pavilion, which later became the Spokane Opera House and Convention Center.

The controversial business and occupation tax implemented by the Spokane City Council raised $5.7 million to remove the railroad tracks and prepare the fair site for Expo ’74. President Richard M. Nixon officially endorsed the event in October 1971, after King Cole led a delegation received unanimous approval from Paris’s Bureau of International Expositions as an official “special exposition.”

Washington’s influential Congressional delegation secured an $11.5 million appropriation to construct the U.S. Pavilion, with Senators Henry “Scoop” Jackson, Warren Magnuson, and Thomas Foley leading the charge. Spokane’s three railroads donated 17 acres of land to the city, allowing them to consolidate their routes away from downtown at a cost worth millions of dollars.

King Cole then focused on attracting countries to participate in the fair and secured commitments from numerous nations including Japan, South Korea, Canada, Australia

By Samantha Nguyen

As a content writer at newsqwe.com, I am passionate about crafting engaging and informative articles that captivate our audience. With a background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I strive to deliver content that is not only well-researched but also adds value to our readers' lives. From breaking news stories to in-depth features, I take pride in my ability to tell compelling stories that resonate with our diverse audience. When I'm not typing away at my keyboard, you can find me exploring new cafes, practicing yoga, or getting lost in a good book. I am thrilled to be a part of the newsqwe.com team and look forward to sharing my love for writing with all of our readers.

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