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U.S. Census Bureau History: The World's Fair

Between April and October in 1964 and 1965, New York City hosted the World’s Fair. The fairgrounds were located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in the borough of Queens. The Unisphere, the centerpiece of the fair, symbolized the dawn of the space age and reflected the fair’s theme of "Peace Through Understanding."

Previous World’s Fairs in the United States were held in cities such as: Buffalo, NY (1901); Los Angeles, CA (1923); Philadelphia, PA (1926); St. Louis, MO (1953); and Seattle, WA (1962). Below are some statistics related to the World’s Fair:

  • The 1964-1965 World’s Fair was attended by more than 51 million people. In 1960, the population of Queens was 1.8 million. Today, the population is nearly 2.3 million.
  • The 1964-1965 fair featured new inventions such as the color television. In 1960, approximately 300,000 U.S. households had a color TV. By 1965, 2.8 million households owned one and in 2000, more than 100 million U.S. households had a color TV.
  • The most recent World’s Fair to be held in the United States was the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition held in New Orleans, LA, between May 12 and November 11, 1984.

1964 World’s Fair Site, Queens, New York
1964 World’s Fair Site, Queens, New York
Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

This Month in U.S. Census Bureau History

The first U.S. Census began on August 2, 1790, and was to be completed by April 1791. The total population of each state was to be transmitted to the president by September 1, 1791. Subsequent legislation allowed for the enumeration of the new state of Vermont between April and August 1791 and extended the time for completion of enumeration in South Carolina to March 1, 1792. At its conclusion, the 1790 Census recorded a total population of 3,929,214.

Did You Know?

The U.S. Census Bureau participated in the Sesquicentennial Exposition, in Philadelphia, PA, from June 1 to December 1, 1926. The Census Bureau’s exhibit showed changes in the United States over the previous 150 years and included charts, maps, graphs, and census forms. At the center of the display was a population clock showing the estimated population of the nation.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Census History Staff | Last Revised: July 31, 2014