Spotlight on History
35th Anniversary of the New Orleans World’s Fair
May 12, 2019, marks the 35th anniversary of the opening of the Louisiana World Exposition, also known as the New Orleans World’s Fair. The event featured pavilions from countries around the world focused on the theme, The World of Rivers: Fresh Water as a Source of Life. Even though visitors enjoyed the attractions, the Louisiana World Exposition holds the distinction as the only world’s fair to file bankruptcy and as the last world’s fair held in the United States. Explore LPB’s coverage of this major event, including the planning process, the financial troubles, pavilion tours, and the fair’s closure on November 11, 1984.
Watch this story from Louisiana: The State We’re In on the planning process for the Louisiana World Exposition.
View this story from Louisiana: The State We’re In on the ongoing plans and the potential economic impact of the World’s Fair.
See this story from Louisiana: The State We’re In on the ongoing construction of the 82-acre site and the efforts to publicize the fair around the world.
Watch an interview from Folks with New Orleans First Lady Sybil Morial and designer John Scott on the Afro-American Pavilion, I’ve Known Rivers.
View an interview from Louisiana: The State We’re In with Speaker of the House John Alario on the Legislature’s proposed $10 million bailout of the World’s Fair.
Tag along with Louisiana: The State We’re In for a tour of the Louisiana World Exposition on the day before it opened.
See Amanda LaFleur’s interview from En Français with Robert Van Kersbergen, the creator of the French Pavilion.
Take a tour of I’ve Known Rivers, the Afro-American Pavilion, with Rob Hinton of Folks and tour guide Margo Sims.
Watch a Louisiana: The State We’re In report on the fair’s financial woes and on the separate grand jury investigations into alleged corruption involving the fair and its operation.
In this Louisiana Treasures segment from Art Rocks!, learn more about the history the World’s Fair quilt on display at the Louisiana State Archives.