Share Your Memorabilia & Memories of Expo ’74 During the 50th Anniversary Celebration

Posted on March 27, 2024 at 6:00 am

By Corinne Wilson

About Expo ’74

Expo ’74 was the first World’s Fair that was environmentally themed, and it changed Spokane’s landscape permanently. Riverfront Park’s old railroad lines and trestles were replaced with the IMAX theater (new technology at the time), butterfly sculptures (including the remaining one), the Looff Carrousel, and the Spokane Convention Center (called the Washington State Pavilion at the time of the fair).

Spokanites and those visiting Spokane crowded around exhibits from Kodak and General Motors and listened to a mid-Watergate address from the controversial President Richard Nixon. Innovators and scientists discussed concerns about the effects of deforestation, nuclear waste, and greenhouse effects—issues that have continued to inspire discussions about climate change and environmental stewardship for 50 years.

Accepting Your Submissions

In celebration of the 50th anniversary, the library invites you to drop off memorabilia and photos from Expo ’74 at any of our library locations for the exhibit we’re sharing in July.

Items for the exhibit are being collected April 1–May 10.

You can also submit images online at the Expo ’74 web page, starting April 1.

During the month of July, you can enjoy a showcase of Spokane World’s Fair items exhibited at all but two SCLD libraries. Items dropped off at Spokane Valley and Argonne Libraries (neither of which have display cases) will be viewable in an online exhibit and distributed to in-person exhibits at other libraries.

All physical items submitted to the exhibit will be available for pick up in August.

We look forward to sharing your Expo ’74 souvenirs and memories.

Submit Your Memories Today

Share Your Story on Video

If you have Expo ’74 stories and memories you’d like to share via video, then the library would like to record and share them online.

You don’t need to have memorabilia, souvenirs, or photos in order to share your story on video. Simply stop by any of our libraries between April 1 and May 10 to fill out the Expo ’74 submission form, indicating your interest to participate in filming your Spokane World’s Fair story.

You can also fill out the submission form online, starting April 1, to let us know you’d like to share your story in a video.

Expo ’74 Discussions

For the celebration, we’ve also partnered with the League of Women Voters to provide opportunities for civic discussion about the focus of Expo ’74: the environment. During this program, we discuss how individuals, neighborhoods, and municipalities can take action to prepare for the impacts of the climate crisis. You can share your concerns, ask questions, and exchange ideas with others.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts about the current climate crisis during this civil and civic discussion.

Expo ’74: 50 Years of Environmental Awareness

Wednesday, May 8, 6:30–8pm

Wednesday, May 15, 6–7:30pm

Thursday, June 6, 4–5:30pm

Saturday, June 8, 2–3:30pm

Wednesday, June 12, 2–3:30pm

Thursday, June 27, 5–6pm

Books & Other Resources

If you’re interested in learning more about these topics before the talks, you can check out titles from our climate booklist: Expo ’74: 50 Years of Environmental Awareness.

For local information on climate-related topics, head to our Civic Lab Online. There you’ll find facts about Spokane’s Recycling, Water Conservation & Gardening, and Nuclear Waste & Power.

Librarian Corinne Wilson

Corinne Wilson is a community librarian at North Spokane Library with a focus on planning programs and events. As a librarian, she has retrieved birthday party balloons from the ceiling, formed movie monsters out of clay, played a disgruntled NASA tech support employee in an escape room, attached a paper mache Death Star to the ceiling, toured nuclear reactors, and smashed many boiled eggs. She enjoys eating lunch.

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