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How well do you remember Century 21?

  • Aerial views of the Space Needle and surrounding area in Seattle in 1962. Many of the buildings used or built for the fair still stand.

    Associated Press

    Aerial views of the Space Needle and surrounding area in Seattle in 1962. Many of the buildings used or built for the fair still stand.

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  • Aerial views of the Space Needle and surrounding area in Seattle in 1962. Many of the buildings used or built for the fair still stand.

    Associated Press

    Aerial views of the Space Needle and surrounding area in Seattle in 1962. Many of the buildings used or built for the fair still stand.

Think you know all about Century 21, the Space Needle and the Bubbleator?
Test your knowledge and join us as we look back to the future.
1. Who opened the Seattle World's Fair with the words: "What we show was achieved with great effort in the fields of science, technology and industry. These accomplishments are a bridge to carry us competently toward the 21st Century"?
A. President John F. Kennedy.
B. Gov. Albert Rosellini.
C. Sen. Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson.
D. Don Draper.
2. What critical part of the Space Needle was built by Everett's Western Gear Co.?
A. The cowboy outfits worn by the elevator operators.
B. The gearlike turntable on which the Eye of the Needle restaurant revolved.
C. The elevator mechanism.
D. The Wheedle.
3. Where during Century 21 could you ride the 100-passenger spherical Plexiglass Bubbleator?
A. The Food Circus.
B. As part of the World of Tomorrow multimedia exhibit at the Washington State Coliseum, now KeyArena.
C. You couldn't; it was perpetually out of order during the fair.
D. The Bubbleator took riders up the first 100 feet of the Space Needle.
4. What exotic food from a foreign land was the big hit of Century 21?
A. Belgian waffles.
B. Bubbleator tea.
C. Walla Walla onion burgers.
D. Chef Boyardee pizza.
5. Everett's Associated Sand & Gravel helped build an icon of Century 21 that remains today. Was it?
A. The concrete beams of the Washington State Coliseum.
B. The concrete bowl surrounding the International Fountain.
C. The parabolic arches of the spires outside the U.S. Science Pavilion, now the Pacific Science Center.
D. A gravel parking lot.
6. Which rock 'n' roll star filmed "It Happened at the World's Fair" while visiting Century 21?
A. Jerry Lee Lewis.
B. Elvis Presley.
C. The Beatles.
D. Justin Bieber.
7. One of the few existing buildings that was remodeled for Century 21 was the Food Circus, later renamed the Center House. What was this building previously used for?
A. It was the original location of the Nordstrom department store.
B. It was just a warehouse.
C. It was the Washington State National Guard Armory.
D. It was the television studios of KIRO-TV and the home of J.P. Patches.
8. The Monorail, runs, as it did 50 years ago, on a 1.2-mile concrete rail from the fairgrounds to downtown Seattle. What do the Monorail's two trains ride on?
A. Each train has 64 tires.
B. Each train rides on a cushion of air.
C. It has steel wheels, like most trains.
D. They ride on rolls of duct tape and baling wire.
9. Where could your take a spin on the Space Wheel, the Wild Mouse, the Flight to Mars and other amusement rides?
A. The Fun Forest.
B. Futureworld.
C. Little Disneyland.
D. The Gayway.
10. When Century 21 concluded on Oct. 21, 1962, how many visitors had passed through its gates?
A. 8 million.
B. A few thousand short of 10 million.
C. A few thousand more than 12 million.
D. No one is certain, because IBM's 7090 mainframe computer lost count.


1. A. President Kennedy addressed the opening day crowd by phone from Florida.
2. B. Western Gear built the turntable, which still revolves once every hour.
3. C. The Bubbleator was part of the World of Tomorrow exhibit and was later moved to the Food Circus. It was removed from the Center House in 1980.
4. A. Belgian waffles apparently were the waffles of the future.
5. C. Associated Sand & Gravel helped build the arched spires.
6. B. Elvis, "thankew ver mudge."
7. C. It was originally built as the armory, though we're certain J.P. made more than a few visits over the years.
8. A. The monorail trains run on tires; 16 carry the load and 48 guide each train along the concrete beams.
9. D. During the Seattle World's Fair, the amusement park was called the Gayway. After the fair, the area was renamed the Fun Forest, though plans to plant scores of trees around the rides never materialized.
10. B. Although fair organizers hung a sign reading "Seattle World's Fair 10,000,000," around a visitor on the last day, they counted a few thousand unused advance tickets to reach that milestone.
Compiled by Jon Bauer
Sources: "The Future Remembered: The 1962 World's Fair and its Legacy";
Story tags » HistorySeattleSnohomish County history

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