tv 1915 1939 San Francisco Worlds Fairs CSPAN May 26, 2018 3:42pm-4:03pm EDT
our panel. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] san francisco was home to two fairs. was at the tory tv fair's meeting, about the organizers and exhibits. this is about 15 minutes. >> associate professor of in carroll university. where is that? >> in wisconsin. >> how long have you been teaching? teaching at carroll for 12 years and i taught part time a little bit before that. and then in graduate school.
full time for 12 years. > one of your many project, co-ed did itting a book, what is this all about? essays a collection of by various scholars about women so eneral at world fairs, looking at the way that women, women groups participate in way women were represented in world fairs and to g gender as a leverage examine a number of different fairs from that perspective. learned?have you >> well, we've learned, i co-edited that book with a and i would say that we learned that gender is incredibly important in fairs. manifests itself in a lot of different ways, and even at women's at didn't have buildings, women were participating in fairs, in rganizing and influencing and working and in lots of different ways. >> i want to get the name right, 1915.s >> yes. >> the panama pacific international exposition in san francisco. >> yes. it?hat was
>> often called the ppie, so you don't have to say that name again. the ppie was a huge world far nd international exposition held on the shores of san now the bay in what's marina district for people familiar with san francisco. t was to celebrate the completion of the panama canal also to commemorate the 400th anniversary of balboa, the spanish explorer sighting of the pacific. essentially an excuse for san francisco to throw a huge party. long party. this world fair and it was an attempt also by san francisco to city's rising up after the earthquake and fire of 1906. so city boosters wanted to have mark the order to ccasion and to basically demonstrate their strengths to the rest of the nation and world and to claim their status as the crown city of the pacific. san ve us a sense of francisco.
this is more than a century ago now. he fire had ended, they were rebuilding the city. >> yes. >> what was the city like and in 1915?en treat women >> how did men treat women in s?e 1915 probably depended on the man but san francisco is interesting actually had rnia passed a suffrage amend in. 191. to vote had the right in california by 1915, which they didn't necessarily have in the rest of the nation. in 1920?omes >> yes, 1920 but some western state passed it on the state passed on e it was the federal level so in some ways, certainly women in san francisco had more political than they might have had in other parts of the country. by no means do we see the kinds of equality that and menow between women in san francisco or anywhere else, but san francisco was a cosmopolitan. know
very diverse. quiet ethnically and racially and that was reflected in the fair as it has been in francisco.y of san >> if you were to walk through that nine-month exposition what seen, what would have stood out, who participated n this, what were the new technologies that were on display, the wares of these countries?and >> oh, wow, that's a huge question. wares the most famous was, there was a ford assembly line. you could see automobiles being made at the fair. they rolled off the assembly periodically in one of the exhibit halls. other exhibit halls, there was there trified house, so was actually a huge -- not a huge house, a dwelling that was electric, and for consumers in 1915, this was a huge deal so imagine all the things that could, in fact, be run through the magic of electricity. and so that intrigued quite a people who were at the
fair. about r was partly products. marketing products obviously but culture.t so there were many nations contributing exhibits, so there foreign nations that had their own buildings, italy, argentina, japan, china, among others, sweden had a building. honduras. numbers of nations, and those nations, home nation was f decided what exhibited in that building, how they wanted to present hemselves to the world, so visitors certainly could have gone and seen various different exhibits about japanese culture, art.ese there was a model of a japanese temple, for instance, an enormous japanese garden. japan poured a lot of money into the fair, really trying to emergings status as an visitors.er, to the fair also included what we would call midway, so what came midway, it was e called the zone in 1915.
that was their name. zone, andpanama canal t featured some ethnic villages, so places where, what colonized people, or people who were seen as primitive or less advanced were display for visitors to observe. a short-lived village people.li another one of maui, and those eople were essentially living their daily lives in front of visitors. fairs at on at world the time. one of the most famous things on actually a painting called stella, that supposedly reathed, and it was a painting of a nude woman, and it was a very, very famous, i mean, for reason because people could go to the fine arts and see nude paintings,
but supposedly she breathed as her and that at gained quite a bit of attraction. >> sounds like a pretty big deal for those americans who traveled to san francisco. >> it was. it was. san francisco hosts another expo in 1939. >> yes. 1915 to hanged from 1939? >> tremendous amounts. changed, ings obviously between 1915 to 1939. as we were commenting before, ironic that both fairs happened on the eve of these devastating wars. hosted these sco fairs in 1939, by the time the war is actually opened, very much on the horizon in europe. invading is already nations across europe and outright war breaks out later in the summer. so the world is very different as far as international 1939.ions goes in technology has advanced quite a bit by 1939. there is a lot more movies, a lot more color
reproductions of things. far more people have cars. there are huge parking lots. so the 1939 service held on a asure island, which was manmade island created for the part of wpa money, so the depression era new deal is off of -- the island that the bay bridge goes through. actually built, part of the plan of the fair was that treasure island would eventually become the city's airport. now we know that didn't happen but it was supposed to be the pan-am airways took off from there during the fair, o visitors could see this visual reminder of the san ctions between francisco and the pacific world with the china clipper taking overhead every few days. o a lot of fair is about emphasizing specific cultures, and the 1939 fair was called the pacific, and it had a lot of sculpture and
and participation by nations of the pacific, which meant nations who bordered the pacific ocean. amount included a fair of chinese americans who lived and worked in san francisco. absolutely. >> what influence did they have on the history, culture of san francisco from the prism of your and also on these two expos? >> sure, chinese population of continues co was and force really important in the city, and during both fairs, chinese and japanese were excluded from immigrating to the united states because the exclusion law was passed in the 1880s and japanese codified through an gentleman's agreement and by 1924, immigration law, it stopped immigration from asia completely. were not able to send new immigrants, new fair,s, immigrants to the
yet they were thriving san francisco and the chinese community in particular participated in both fargs, in the first fair, one of attractions on the zone that earlier, that midway area was called underground chinatown. village and it was a chinatown of what looked like before the earthquake and it included every negative thing could you think of about chinese gamblers, opium dense, an essentially viewers were supposed to go in and supposedly chinatown, as you can imagine, chinese not very happy about this. so some local chinese residents, white sympathizers, who community,he chinese launched a letter writing campaign to officials and with the help of the chinese commissioner to the
that they eventually got attraction closed. wasn't idn't mean there any anti-chinese sentiment anymore but they got that shut down. 1939, china was already at war with japan, japan invaded deeply i am a is meshed in this war with japan so the government of china did not send a delegation to the fair. they did not erect their own building but the local chinese a munity actually raised great deal of money to erect their own chinese village, which placed on -- also on the midway of the 1939 fair, which and hen called the gayway, a huge chineseed village with chinese acrobats, producing tsy tans, traditional craft, in that way, the chinese communities was very that 1939 fair. >> you grew up in san francisco? grew up in santa rosa, just
north of san francisco. >> i want to go back to earlier you se, fire of 1906, i know this isn't a butct part of your research how devastating was that for the city and how did the city to the 1915 led expo? >> it was devastating. for the precedented city. they had had earlier fires but an enormous ispossession of land, of houses, loss of life was still under contention. people don't agree on how many were actually lost in the earthquake but the city rebuilt a great deal of several some residents left and back. came particularly after the american community, there weren't a lot african-americans, many of them ended up staying there and francisco.back to san there was an effort to move
china after the fire because chinatown was a prime downtown in san francisco and as real estate increased in value, san francisco grew. t was clear it was a great location, but the chinese community, the business leaders had enough influence, that they from ble to keep that happening and were able to maintain their control, their wnership of chinatown, but the city, rebuilding after the earthquake, was very difficult people, absolutely. and people lived in these many uake cottages for years, actually, there were a remainingre are a few today but part of preparing for actuallirying as the area that would become the fair of some of those earthquake cottages, because there were still people down there living in these little cottages, and basically kicked out in order to build the fair because the fair was built in a that was partly preexisting, and all of that was destroyed for the fair. remnants of any either fair around today?
>> yes. in san francisco, the palace of is the one remaining building from the ppie. it's a reconstruction but it the same.tly it's on the marina, very famous by bernard -- e the architect, for a long time housed the exploratoryium, not any longer but housed exhibits over the years. that's the marina, and the 1939 fair, treasure island, still exists island is still there and some of the buildings still exist, a lot of them were destroyed. of the sculpture, the huge 0-foot tall pacifica sculpture was toppled, sadly, and there is active museum association at treasure island that's trying to savingoney for re -- for as much of that as possible. there is ongoing preservation as much ofry to safe treasure island as they can. >> and one thing that we just learned in our conversation sat down, the world
fair continues today, although maybe not here in the u.s. >> they do. surprised are very to learn that there are still world fairs today. he bureau of international exposition is the governing body google them you can more.ut grounded in the 19 20ss and it's the official international body regulating these ex-positions. the u.s. has not hosted one i've heard 80s but rumors that some agencies around the country are interested in of a world fair, whether that will ever happen again, i don't know. been told there are various interests in the bay area that might be interested in a world fair. happen.know if it will but there was one, a recent one been an, there also have some in china. >> let me conclude where we began in your area of research, issues, and world fairs. what did you learn? what have you learned and why up this type of
research? up this type of research? very interested in issues of i'm really der, and interested in the way that power outside of elite structure are able to wheeled of unexpectedsort ways. and what i really love about that, there are so many different interest groups, so many different people who have an interest in them because they prospect for boosting their neighborhood or their cause, their suffrage, the 1915 fair, by the way, who staged this big presence. a lot of different interest groups, people who want by examininge, and that on a closer level, through whatever documents i could find it's really interesting to see helps us to it understand a city or a state, i don't structure, mean political structure like
elected officials, but who has that power s negotiated, and how are onferent groups able to draw that to gain their own, to reach their own goals. why?ou're smiling, >> well, i'm just thinking, i just thinking about how much i think that's still true today, i think that, i think, that, what i see is cultural events that are actually -- he reveal a great deal about the community. there is so much effort and so much organization that needs to hosting them, that it's often important for cooperate with the diverse of groups in order to make that work. learned nk what i've the most about, to go back to question about women is that certainly -- women's groups, women participated in many, many different
ways. the 1893 chicago exposition is a people know the most about. out in the midwest. famous fair and there was a woman's building, so often people said that's what it women to participate in fairs. talk about suffrage. and i would contend that there is a lot of other things that are ould look at and women participating in fairs for olitical reasons that aren't necessarily associated with women's rights, suffrage or and ity across the years, that understanding their understand help us something about culture and society at times. >> professor abigail, from wisconsin, ersity, you very much for being with us.
>> our guess is edward l'engle cruciblericans in the of combat, 1917 to 1918. we will look back 100 years to he battles between france and american army soldiers and where they saw their first major combat on the western front. diedthan 10,000 americans or were wounded, or went missing in the area. centennial: war i u.s. war in france, 1918." on c-span's washington journal. >> next, on history bookshelf. history professor lauren sklaroff discussed black culture in the new deal. her book that examines new deal federal arts projects that promote african-american artist, including lena horne, duke
ellington. this was recorded at the franklin d. roosevelt library and museum in hyde park new york in 2010. it is about 40 minutes. [applause] >> thank you so much for coming to this talk. for supporting the book, and thank you so much to the roosevelt library for offering this invitation. the new deal is often characterized as progressive, even revolutionary. new policies coupled with a sense of executive emergencies led many americans to celebrate the roosevelt administration as a symbol of change and progress. in the minds of new deal administrators, these programs would alleviate suffering for american families, but they also have the potential to create an inclusive participatory democracy. as cultural visionary louis mumford reflected on this impulse in the 1930s he pronounced "more public good has