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The World's Fair and Exposition
Information and Reference Guide

1974 Spokane Worlds Fair - Expo 74




  • Over 104 facts and trivia nuggets with 8 links to more resources.

  • The World's Fair and Exposition Information and Reference Guide is now on CD.
    11,216 facts and 1,362 web links covering 24 World's Fairs and Expositions.
    Further information can be found here.

  • To Convert Dollar Amounts to the Year 2003: divide the amount by .288



The following are on the CD
High Resolution Images (11) Bonus: Timeline 1974 (47)






  • Dates: May 4 - November 3, 1974

  • Theme: Celebrating Tomorrow's Fresh New Environment.

  • Type of Exposition: Special Exposition Category.

  • Area: 40.5 hectares (100 acres) of land and water.

  • Cost: $30,000,000 (?)

  • Attendance: 5,249,130.

  • Admission: $4.00.

  • Hours: 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM.

  • Accommodations: Camping, Hotels.

  • Official Guide Book: $1.00.

  • Official Souvenir Book: $2.00.

  • National Pavilions: 11.

  • Participating Nations: 11.

  • Expo 74 honored the 100th anniversary of the founding of Spokane and the first official International celebration of the US Bicentennial.


Facts and Trivia




  • The First Worlds Fair on the environment.

  • The First International Exhibition to be held in the USA since joining the BIE (Bureau of International Expositions). The US became a member in 1968.

  • The first construction bids were on September 8, 1972. Construction began with the US Pavilion on September 22, 1972.

  • Expo 75 in Okinawa, Japan featured the 'ocean' as it's theme.

  • Spokane was the smallest city to host a sanctioned International Exposition. In 1974, the population of Spokane was 180,000.

  • The two islands, Havermale and Cannon, were originally inhabited by Indians.

  • Prior to Expo 74, Havermale Island was occupied by railroads. The Burlington Northern, the Union Pacific and the Milwaukee Road. They cleared and donated the 17 acres of land with the Great Northern clock tower left standing as a tribute.

  • Plans for a major Exposition in Spokane go back to 1969.

  • The Spokane celebration was originally scheduled for 1973.

  • $11,900.000 was appropriated for the Washington State Pavilion. Plus an additional  $500,000 donated by private citizens.

  • Bond money comprised $1 of the $4 admission price.

  • The Soviet Union was the first foreign exhibitor. The 54,500 square foot building cost 
    $2 million and was the largest foreign pavilion.

  • Participating foreign nations included: Australia, Canada, China (Taiwan), Iran, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Philippines, Soviet Union and West Germany.

  • The entertainers included: Bob Hope, Emmett Kelly Jr, Marcel Marceau, the Pointer Sisters, Roger Williams, Tom T Hall, Gordon Lightfoot,  Bill Cosby, Lawrence Welk, Seals & Crofts, Grand Funk, Harry Belafonte, Olga Korbut, Liberace, Victor Borge, Glenn Yarborough and the Limeliters, The Carpenters, Chicago, BTO, Jack Benny, King Family, Charlie Pride, Jim Nabors, Buck Owens, John Denver, Merle Haggard, Itzahak Perlman, Kreskin, Helen Reddy, Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner, Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians, Myrna Loy, Van Cliburn, Ella Fitzgerald, Ricardo Montalban, Irish Rovers, Rolf Harris, Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge, Edward Mulhare, Werner Klemperer, Betty Grable, Sarah Bernhardt, The Lone Ranger, Poodles Hanneford, Lunt and Fontanne, Rex the Wild Horse, Bill Russell.

  • The New England Patriots played the Denver Broncos at Albi Stadium in an exhibition game.

  • The Amusement section was called "The Universa" and contained 21 rides. The biggest attraction was the "Ride Over The Falls", a gondola-type Skyride that took visitors across Spokane Falls.



  • $1,100,000 was allocated for Native American participation. Over 125 tribes and native organizations were represented.

  • The Canadian exhibit covered an entire island.

  • Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington State had individual exhibits.

  • The Russian basketball team played the US College All Stars.

  • The Smithsonian Institute's exhibit was entitled "Folklife Festival" and demonstrated such 'crafts' as salmon smoking, kayak building and totem pole carving.

  • The Expo was divided into 5 color zones: magenta, orange, purple, red and yellow.

  • An aluminum Christmas tree was created with over 100,000 recycled aluminum beverage cans that were collected by Spokane students. They were attached to a 120 foot cedar pole donated by the BJ Carney Company of St maries, Idaho.

  • Three permanent buildings remained after the Expo. The US Pavilion, Washington State Pavilion and the German Hofbrau (Spokane City Building).

  • You could purchase original Picasso, Goya and Dali works.

  • Spokane school children helped clean the city prior to the Expo by collecting 456 abandoned cars. Prizes were awarded for the top three 'finders'.

  • The Expo was said to have created over 4,000 new local jobs with a total local economic impact of $115,000,000.

  • The Washington State Building became a Convention Center and Opera House.

  • The Spokane City Building became home to an antique carrousel.

  • The Art Exhibit contained works by: American artists: Grandma Moses, Frederic Remington and Charles Russell. Canadian artists: Paul Kane, David Milne and Robert Whale. And Hawaiian artists: Ben Norris, Tadashi Sato and Tseng Yu-ho.

  • The Smithsonian Institute had a five acre theme park entitled, "The Northwest: A Gift to the Earth". It was the first time that the Smithsonian Institute participated in a World's Fair.

  • Among the Indian Tribes represented: Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Yakima, Lummis, Makahs, Quinaults, Nez Perce, Blackfeet, Colville, Spokane, Kalispel, Couer d'Alene, Kwakiutl.



  • The Pacific Northwest Indian Center contained a 3,200 photograph collection depicting reservation life.

  • The Official Candy of the Expo was Aplets and Cotlets made by the Liberty Orchards Company of Cashmere, Washington.

  • 20 cities in the Pacific Northwest contributed over 300 park benches. After the Expo, they were returned to their respected cities with a plaque denoting their use in Expo 74.

  • The Boy Scouts provided help and guidance during the Expo. Troops from all over the Pacific Northwest setup camp along the banks of the Spokane River. They rotated every week for the six month duration. Their biggest attraction was a suspension walk bridge.

  • The Chaplains of the Day program provided the services of volunteer Ministers, Priests and Rabbis from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM. A similar program was sponsored by clergymen at the 1968 Hemisphere in San Antonio, Texas.

  • The City of Spokane was destroyed by fire in 1889 mainly because a water pump house on Crystal Island had failed. Expo 74 was built over the location.

  • The Expo 74 symbol represents the continuity of life and is an adaptation of a "Mobius Strip". Which is "... a three dimensional form which has only one side and therefore has no definable beginning or end ...". The three colors represent: the cleanliness of clean air (white), the purity of clean water (Blue) and the "unspoiled beauty of growing plants and trees" (Green).

  • Vandals destroyed the 155 foot Old Tower Clock a year before the opening of Expo74. The landmark Clock Tower was a remnant of the Great Northern Railway and was left intact after the railroad donated the land for the Expo. Students at the Spokane Community College and volunteers from the city's building maintenance department, remade the missing and damaged pieces in their machine shops.

  • Almost 13,000 non-paid entertainers volunteered their services. Amongst them was the "The Great Corvallis Original One and Only International Recycling Band". It consisted of 25 senior citizens who played instruments made of recycled material. Items included: 
    a gut bucket, spoons and a toilet seat.

  • Over 2,500 trees in 23 different varieties.

  • The Russian exhibit weighed 1,000 tons and cost $300,000 to bring it here. Total cost $2,000,000.

  • A small Expo 74 flag was put on Mt Kilimanjaro's highest peak, Uhuru (19,930 feet). It was placed there by Thomas Garrett, vice-president of the Lincoln Savings & Loan Assoc of Spokane, in 1973.

  • There are 5 ghost towns within 50 miles of Spokane. And in one of them, Eagle City, Wyatt Earp operated the White Elephant Saloon with his brother.

  • Before the Expo: the land encompassing the grounds was in the center of a slum area. The Spokane River was polluted. And the downtown area was congested and had high carbon monoxide levels. the environmental theme.

  • The Expo grounds became a city park.

  • The General Motors Pavilion demonstrated the "Air Cushion Restraint System",
     aka the "Air Bag"



  • The Canadian Pavilion had a park with over 45 varieties of trees. They even imported squirrels, chipmunks and other woodland creatures to inhabit the park.

  • The Theme Streams Pathways used "glassphalt", a paving material that used a combination of crushed recycled glass and asphalt. Spokane Youth groups were paid 
    $20 a ton for the 70 tons of glass. 

  • The Czechoslovakian Exhibit in the Washington State Pavilion featured "Kino-automat", 
    a 70 minute color comedy about a bumbling "Everyman
    ". At intervals during the broadcast, viewers could vote on selected action sequences. Votes were tallied and scenes would change accordingly.

  • Kino-automat was also featured at the 1958 Brussels Exposition, the 1967 Montreal Expo and the 1970 Exposition in Osaka.

  • The International Symposia on Environment held conferences every two weeks during the duration of the Expo. Also held were special conferences between the US and Japan, and the US and Russia.

  • Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze was on display. The painting was sold in New York prior to the Expo for $260,000. The most paid for an American painting 
    at that time.

  • The Washington State Pavilion covered 185,800 square feet and housed the Washington State Exhibit, the 2700 seat Music Hall and an open mall area. It contained enough concrete to build a 13 mile long driveway and was constructed in 19 months.

  • An average 7 hour stay at the Fair cost approximately $10. That included parking, admission, food and drink, merchandise, and a show.

  • Danny Kaye was presented with an Expo74 humanitarian award during opening ceremonies.

  • People living close to the Fair visited an average of  5.5 days.

  • The Spokane River flows through the center of Spokane.

  • The Ford Exhibit was housed in a 120 foot diameter, 45 foot high geodesic dome.

  • Peter Max was commissioned by the USPS to design the stamp commemorating Expo74.

  • The Montana Pavilion housed "authentic pioneer artifacts" and a collection of works from famed cowboy artist, Charlie Russell.

  • The Sermons in Science Pavilion was sponsored by Christians for Expo and featured 18 different, 30 minute programs everyday. Demonstrations included: the cry that could shatter glass, the frozen shadow, a talking flashlight, an invisible energy that sets steel aflame, a ribbon of rust, and Dr George Speak passing one million volts of electricity through his body.



  • The Sermons in Science Exhibit was also featured at the 1962 Seattle's World's Fair, the 1964 New York World's Fair, the 1967 Montreal Exposition and the 1968 HemisFair in San Antonio Texas.

  • The China Pavilion housed a 236 seat theatre that used Electrovision. A projection system that used 28 Ektagraph slide projectors and three 16mm pageant movie projectors linked to a central computer. It was displayed on a 180 degree angle.

  • The GM Pavilion resembled a blue and white three leaf clover. And featured the gasoline-electric hybrid  XP-898. This prototype 2 seat sports coupe ran on two cylinders and was built using "a frameless, fiberglass foam sandwich body and chassis". They also displayed a cut-away of a Chevy Vega Wagon.

  • The Afro-American Pavilion marked the first time in history that the contributions of Black American's was represented at a World's Fair.

  • Professional Taekwondo exhibitions were featured in the Korean Pavilion.

  • The Kodak Pavilion resembled a boy's "beanie cap". The "bubble theatre" was supported by constant air pressure and could hold 200 people. Kodak has been represented at every major World's Fair and Exposition since 1893.

  • Five three-car "trackless trains" roamed the exposition grounds carrying paying visitors to exhibits. They could carry up to 60 passengers each and burned propane gas.

  • Thirty minute "river excursions" were given on 16' by 48' boats resembling rafts.

  • The amusement area was called "Universa" and contained 21 rides and 12 skill games.

  • The Mormon Pavilion resembled a large open book with gilded pages held together by three gold rings. The Pavilion covered 3700 square feet and was constructed on piers over the Spokane River. Among the displays were three dioramas and a Peruvian Reed Boat.

  • Almost 100 sculptures, fountains, statuary decorated the exposition grounds.

  • The Arts Exhibit featured works from: John James Audubon, Frederick Remington, Andrew Wyeth, Charles Russell, Winslow Homer, Paul Horiuchi, George Bingham and Fred Kline.

  • The North American Indian items on display in the Pacific Northwest Indian Center were also displayed at the 1970 Exposition in Osaka.

  • The Pacific Northwest Indian Center was actually three blocks outside of Expo 74. It is located on an aboriginal Indian fishing site and contains a full scale furnished teepee and log cabin. The five level museum covers 29,000 square feet and resembles a "monolithic Indian headdress". The American Bicentennial Committee asked the Center to be part of it's 200th birthday celebration in 1976.

  • Three permanent buildings remained after the Expo. The US Pavilion, Washington State Pavilion and the German Hofbrau Building (Spokane City Building).


US Pavilion




  • $11,500,000  was appropriated for the US Pavilion.

  • Construction began on September 22, 1972.

  • The theme: Man and Nature, One and Indivisible.

  • It was the largest structure at Expo 74.

  • The transparent vinyl roof contained over 2 acres of fabric and 4.6 miles of steel cable.

  • The Pavilion rose to a height of 145 feet, weighed over 200 tons and covered 4 acres.

  • The 50 foot opening at the top of the Pavilion was for air circulation.

  • The main entrance was through the arch (pictured above). The second entrance was on the opposite side.

  • The Pavilion comprised three areas: The 5,500 square foot Federal Action Center, the 850 seat IMAX theatre and a 17,000 square foot one acre garden courtyard.

  • A Government Printing Office bookstore was located in the Federal Action Center.

  • The IMAX theatre in the US Pavilion contained seating for 850 people and displayed a 70mm film on a curved movie screen 65 feet high and 90 feet wide. IMAX films are typically three times larger than Cinerama.

  • The Federal Action Center was one of only three permanent buildings remaining after the Expo. The other two: Washington State Pavilion and the German Hofbrau Building.


Links, Online Sources



Books, Sources


  • Official Full Color Souvenir Book. Mike Roberts Color Productions. Seville Enterprises.

  • Official Guidebook. Expo '74 World's Fair. Franich, Giessel, Tupper Associates.

  • Official Souvenir Program. Expo '74 World's Fair. Franich, Giessel, Tupper Associates.




  • Scanned images are from personal slides. These slides have been in storage for almost 30 years and are a bit hazy at points because they have warped slightly from age.

  • Images are copyrighted property of Stan Daniloski. 

  • Pictures are for personal viewing only. Permission must be granted for commercial usage.



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