United States Pavilion

A glittering facade of multi-colored glass fronted this 330 foot long boxish looking pavilion representing the United States of America. It offered the visitor a vivid view of America's "Challenge to Greatness", a theme endorsed by the late John F. Kennedy through two feature films.

Beyond the entrance foyer was the first of the building's two theaters. It had a continuous showing of a ten minute film that dramatized the nation's immigrant origins. It explained the nation's continual renewal as refugees reached the nation's shores to begin life anew.

The remainder of the first floor's display area presented two exhibits "The Challenge of Freedom" about the effects of progress on American life (production advances and miracles of modern science), and the "Challenge of a Peaceful World." The later depicts America's role in international affairs and looked ahead to uncharted space. There was an operating model of the Mariner spaceship that probed Venus in 1962, an exhibit of children's art that portrayed the worldwide hope for peace.

The entire second floor of the pavilion was the setting for an extraordinary film using a host of revolutionary film techniques; sliding screens, rising screens, screens that form a tunnel, and explosive sound effects. Visitors watched the movie as they rode on moving grandstands. The production attempted to bring history back to life by showing lightning flashes as Franklin flew his kite, waters churning as Fulton launched his steamship, and cannon roaring as the Civil War began. The viewer was swept into the future as a rocket soared past the swirling Milky Way, to the moon and then beyond.

Copyright © Jeffrey Stanton 1997
All Rights Reserved