A Century 21 timeline

Here’s a brief timeline of the Century 21 Exposition, otherwise known as the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair.

Late 1950s — Fundraising for the World’s Fair begins with commitments from local, state and federal governments.

1960 — Construction begins on the Coliseum. The first Boeing jet to enter service on the Pacific Coast is christened the Century 21. The Bureau of International Expositions recognizes Century 21 as the official world’s fair for 1962

1961 — Ground-breaking ceremonies for the Space Needle on April 17.

1962 — Astronaut John Glenn orbits the Earth on Feb. 20 and later visits the fair.

April 19 — The Monorail is christened.

April 21 — The Century 21 Exposition opens, with a phone call from President John Kennedy.

May 19 — Attendance at the fair reaches the 1 million mark.

Sept. 5Elvis Presley arrives to shoot the movie, “It Happened at The World’s Fair.”

Oct. 12 — The Columbus Day storm closes the fair early that day because of high winds.

Oct. 13 — The 9 millionth visitor comes to the fair.

Oct. 21 — Century 21 closing ceremonies.

Oct. 22 — Cuban Missile Crisis becomes public.

Nov. 22, 1963 — Kennedy assassinated.

1971 — Festival ‘71, using the entire former fairgrounds, now called the Seattle Center, becomes Bumbershoot two years later.

1972 — The Northwest Folklife Festival becomes an annual event.

1979 — The Sky Tram moves to the Puyallup Fair.

1980 — The Bubbleator, a Plexiglass elevator that could hold 100 people, is removed and put in storage.

2012 — A variety of 50th anniversary events are planned.

Source: “The Future Remembered: The 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and Its Legacy” by Paula Becker, Alan J. Stein and the HistoryLink Staff

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