It’s been 57 years since the New York World’s Fair opened in 1964, but it still receives a lot of attention today. In particular, Disney’s strong presence makes it a touchstone for history fans. Carousel of Progress, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, and “it’s a small world” all originated at the Fair, along with the Magic Skyway. The Disney attractions are just one of many reasons to discover the Fair. [Dan's] guest on this episode of The Tomorrow Society Podcast is an expert on the Fair and much more. Bill Cotter has written many books about World’s Fair events around the world. His collections of photos and research makes him an expert on the history of the Fairs.
Bill also worked on computer systems and security for Disney, and we talk about how he got started there. He’s a serious fan and very knowledgeable about the parks. Bill explains the impact of Disney’s attractions at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, where the four attractions were among the six most popular. His interest in technology and the space program also fit perfectly with that Fair. [The] conversation also covers other Fairs like Expo 67 in Montreal and the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Bill’s latest book is about the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco. We conclude the show by talking about the highlights of that 1939 Fair.