Jun 1, 2023
It’s almost summertime and kids everywhere are already dreaming about their summer vacation. In 1964, Jimmy O’Sullivan of Cheshire, Connecticut had his heart set on a family outing from Connecticut to the see the World’s Fair in New York City’s Flushing Meadows Park with its futuristic, space-themed exhibits and “Peace Through Understanding” overarching theme. A short drive down Connecticut’s Merritt Parkway and over to Flushing Meadow Park put the O’Sullivan family squarely into the heart of the fair. O’Sullivan still has a photograph of himself at 9 years old in front of the fairs’ Unisphere, a 12-story-high stainless steel globe. The 1964-65 New York World’s Fair attracted approximately 50 million visitors including many from Connecticut during its two April-to-October seasons.
The guest for this episode is Dr. Jason Scappaticci, historian and Associate Dean of Student Affairs at Capital Community College in Hartford. Not only does Dr. Scappaticci have a keen interest in all things World’s Fair but he is an avid collector of souvenirs and mementos from the fair.
Many Connecticut companies had exhibits at the fair. Standouts include the Travelers Insurance Company’s building on the “Pool of Industry”. The building was designed to resemble the company’s trademark red umbrella. General Electric’s pavilion stood across from the Travelers. It included a Disney designed attraction called “Progressland”.
For more information on Connecticut’s connections to the fair, read Dr. Scappaticci’s article here: https://www.ctexplored.org/connecticut-at-the-new-york-worlds-fair/
Check out the Travelers exhibit “The Triumph of Man” recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeSS3SILD9Q
Saint Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Church, includes both interior and exterior design features from the 1964 Vatican Pavilion purchased and included in his design by church architect William F. Herman, Jr. of Mystic. To visit, go to 69 Groton Long Point, Groton, Connecticut.