It was an antidote to the tragedy inflicted five months earlier, the assassination of JFK. It was an opportunity for NJ kids to ride the subway for the first time--the 7 train, built specially for the event. What else but the New York World's Fair of 1964-1965? I visited at least six times, led eagerly by my mother, who'd been a young woman during the 1939 Fair. She had great memories of that event and wanted to pass along her excitement to me.
I gained my first public perception of history there. The Pieta! The Sinclair dinosaurs! Belgian waffles! Corporate history too: who can forget Pepsi-Cola's salute to UNICEF ("It's a Small World" is one of the most earworm-producing songs ever), the Ford Mustang, and General Electric's "World of Tomorrow"? (When they highlighted the pre-World War II refrigerator, my dad called out "I recognize that one!") And how about the Westinghouse time capsule, pictured here?
Wish we had the equivalent today. Sure, the Fair was commercial, but Disney World and Las Vegas don't have the same nonpartisan scope. Great piece in today's Record newspaper by Jay Levin on a collector from NJ whose items are truly archival: http://bit.ly/QCU7rW.