(If it only stayed that way) Seventy years ago, on April 30, 1939 a crowd numbering roughly 600,000 jammed the site of the New York World's Fair an
April 30, 2009

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(If it only stayed that way)

Seventy years ago, on April 30, 1939 a crowd numbering roughly 600,000 jammed the site of the New York World's Fair and heard FDR declare the World of Tomorrow open. The official theme was Peace and Progress, but that would prove more than ironic as war was closely on the horizon, eventually leading to Germany's invasion of Poland only six months later.

But on April 30th, the future was here and it was bright and wonderful and grand. With towering monuments to technology and the first public glimpse of television, there was a lot to be optimistic for. In that time, the world going to war seemed distant and strange. All these amazing inventions and promises of the future made war seem out of place, an ugly reminder best left alone. For that brief six months, everything seemed possible and the world was cautiously hopeful.

Here are the opening ceremonies, featuring addresses Grover Whelen, Herbert Lehman, Mayor LaGuardia and President Roosevelt, as it happened on April 30, 1939.

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(Glimpses of a world with infinite possibilities)

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