NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Fifty years ago, the “New York World’s Fair” opened in Queens. Many who were there returned Tuesday to mark a very happy anniversary.
They lined up by the thousands, just like they poured onto the grounds on this day back in 1964. They carried their World’s Fair identification cards, and so many memories.
“It brings chills to me because it was a very special time in my life,” Gail Fiorelli told CBS 2’s Dick Brennan.
“I grew up dirt poor in Brooklyn, and this was like beyond Disney World to me,” Sheldon Lapidus added.
In an age before theme parks, there were exhibits and rides at the World’s Fair.
“To ride the monorail was like the new subway, I thought,” Tom Piragnoli said.
Hans von Rittern said he attended the fair and told Brennan he became obsessed with the “It’s a Small World” exhibit.
“Yes and it can’t leave your head, and it’s still in everybody’s head today,” von Rittern said.
“Everybody my age remembers the Pieta,” Maureen O’Connor said, referring to the famed Michelangelo sculpture that was brought to the fair.
The fair also brought the introduction of a breakfast revolution, including the Belgian waffle, and the unisphere, which, despite being a target of destruction in the movies, still stands 140 feet tall.
RESTORING THE NEW YORK STATE PAVILION
Officials made the announcement during a special celebration marking the anniversary of the fair.
The famed pavilion in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is now one of 44 “National Treasures” in the entire United States.