Date of Degree Completion
Bachelor of Arts
Kent D. Richards
Since the original American exposition, held in Philadelphia in 1876 commemorating the union's first centennial, a series of great fairs had been staged in the major cities of the country. Chicago and St. Louis were the leaders in size and success. Portland's Lewis and Clark Exposition of 1904 was financially successful if only regional in appeal and served as an inspiration and standard of comparison for the effort Seattle would make. The immediate predecessor to the Seattle fair--held at Jamestown, Virginia in 1907 as a tri-centennial celebration of that city's founding--was to have a great impact in the organization of Seattle's fair, which was originally scheduled for that same year. Such exhibitions were mammoth undertakings, and success required experienced personnel, huge sums of money and the total support of an ambitious and far sighted citizenry. Whatever Seattle had in the first decade of the twentieth century, it had an optimistic population who disagreed only over the degree of brilliance to Seattle's rising star. Since the earliest settlement the phrase "New York Alki," meaning "New York by-and-by" in Chinook jargon, had been on the lips of the people expressing their hope to become for Asia what the port of New York was to Europe. Not knowing the fulfillment of that dream would still be in the future over half a century later, nothing could stop the dreaming or working toward the fulfillment of that goal. Christened the "Seattle Spirit," this abundance of civic pride was capable of great doings, If holding a world's fair was the style, then certainly, Seattle could do no less.
Anderson, Eric Paul, "Four Years for a Fair: Issues, Actions and Activities Coincident and Connected to the Organization & Development of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition 1905-1909" (1972). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 51.