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BCC | Paul Robertson Endowed Lecture on the History, Art, and Literature of California: A Fair View of Progress

Hosted/Organized by: Book Club of California

An illustrated talk by Laura A. Ackley, author of the award-winning book San Francisco’s Jewel City: The Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

International Expositions, also called World’s Fairs, have showcased innovation since their inception. The major American World’s Fairs in the 50 years between 1915 and 1965 displayed leaps forward in areas including transportation, communication, entertainment, and even recommendations on how Americans should live. Some of these new concepts were unqualified successes, while some proved perilous missteps.

Those decades took aviation from potentially lethal, hand-built aircraft to space flight. They saw communications evolve from the first transcontinental telephony to early video-phones, and entertainment from giant dioramas to audio-animatronics.

The odyssey will start with the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco and conclude with the New York World’s Fair of 1964-65, with visits to the important intervening World’s Fairs in the United States.

Laura Ackley will transport us through half a century of significant advances shown at U.S. World’s Fairs, discussing how they stood the test of time.

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6PM