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ADDRESS OF HONORABLE F. H. LAGUARDIA
MAYOR OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
Mr. President, distinguished guests, ladies, and gentlemen, on behalf of the people of the City of New York, I bid you welcome. As .the host city, the people extend a cordial invitation to all our neighbors throughout the United States to honor us with a visit to this inspiring fair.
Among the many exhibits of science, industry, commerce, may I point to one exhibit which I hope all visitors will note, and that is the City of New York itself.
Not what you will see in the city's exhibit, but our exhibit to the whole world is that in a city of seven and one-half million people, coming from every land and every country, and children of these people who have come from every country in the world, live here together in peace and harmony. And for that we claim we are most unselfish about it, and pray and hope that other countries may copy. All we do is to let every man and woman have a say in their own government, and we have eliminated artifical stimulus of hatred. That is New York City's contribution to the world's fair.
And now, Mr. Whalen, please accept the thanks of the mayor and through him of the people of this city to you for the direction, and to you men out there who built this fair—go our thanks and gratitude.
Mr. President, you are always welcome to New York City. In fact, you belong here. And I know that your greatest thrill must have been this morning as you were received by hundreds of thousands of people who waited your arrival and cheered you on the way to this fair.
We are indeed fortunate and should give thanks that we are living in a country that refuses to admit that out of all the marvelous things that you will find in this fair it is impossible for men and women to live properly. Yet the United States has another exhibit, not necessarily found in the various halls, and that is that in periods where other countries were suffering we built and constructed an ideal throughout the United States of the vision and the dignity of the leader of the Republic.
Finally, New York City will welcome our visitors with open arms not only today, the opening of the fair, but all through the fair and every day thereafter. The city of today greets the world of tomorrow.
ADDRESS OF HONORABLE SIR LOUIS BEALE
K. C. M. G., C. B. E. COMMISSIONER GENERAL FOR His MAJESTY'S GOVERNMENT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM FOR THE New York World's Fair, ELECTED TO REPRESENT THE COMMISSIONERS GENERAL OF THE PARTICIPATING FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS
I HAVE the great honor, on this memorable occasion, commemorating the inauguration—150 years ago—of the beloved first President of the United States, from whose great qualities of heart and mind all peoples have benefited, to speak on behalf of the foreign commissioners general to the New York World's Fair, and in their name to say, first, how much we have enjoyed working with the administrators of the fair and with their officials, and how much we have appreciated their cooperation and the spirit of harmony which has prevailed in all our relations. Speaking with even greater emphasis, I must then express the pride and satisfaction of the nations represented at the fair at being associated with the people of the United States of America in this event of world-wide significance.
The President of the United States invited the countries of the world to come to New York to play each its part in this historic parade of national achievement; they have responded with enthusiasm and sincerity to his gracious invitation. There are here represented nearly sixty of the nations of the world. Every country, deeply sensible of the privilege of participation, is seeking to make fully and faithfully a contribution, national and patriotic, it is true, but a contribution worthy of this great occasion, based on friendship and acceptable to the people of this great nation-a contribution which shall play a real and important part in the magnificent international pageant which is now spread before us.
The word “friendship’ denotes exactly and faithfully the spirit of foreign participation at the World's Fair, and I am persuaded that the spirit of friendship inspires all who are here responsible for any form of participation and will equally animate all who come as visitors from all quarters of the world.
Those of you who have been able to make a tour through the fairgrounds at any time during the past few weeks will have been given a sure promise of a beauty which will gladden the eye and heart of every visitor. The majestic scale of the fair, the bold conception of its planning, and the masterly execution of the work, both in building and landscaping, have insured an outstanding achievement.
The fair was designed to show the advancement of human welfare and the creation of a better and more abundant life, and its creators have never faltered in their steadfast purpose of pointing the way to a finer world of the future. In that purpose the foreign countries participating have joined wholeheartedly; so that, in very truth, the New York World's Fair cannot fail to be an instrument of the highest value in increasing the happiness and welfare of the peoples of the world.
With our highest esteem we, the commissioners general, salute the President and people of the United States of America and wish them every success in this great enterprise. ADDRESS OF HONORABLE GROVER A. WHALEN
PRESIDENT, New York World's Fair That the world of tomorrow might not catch us unawares we have seen fit to create the New York World's Fair as an adventure along the frontiers of progress and world understanding.
On opening day, April 30, 1939, we have here, within the confines of a mere 1,216-acre tract, a fabulous display of works representing man's highest accomplishments. Small wonder, then, that the moment is one of deepest solemnity as we gather here for a moment of benediction upon what has been done and with a prayer in our hearts for what can be done.
These have been called "magic acres." We are here to regard them as modern acres, expressive not only of the scintillating minds of America, as projected into tomorrow, but as an expression from almost all of the world that the hopes and aspirations of America are in no way different from those of the rest of the world.
We have on these grounds the assurance that the equipment and knowledge of today, when alined by, and with, man's better nature, constitute the only alliance upon which Divine Providence will smile and lend spiritual aid. Let our chief concern be, therefore, that the greatest possible number of persons see, and come to know, what has been wrought here.
These works around about us shall speak for themselves. Their money cost has been great, but it is not their money cost that makes them great. Rather is it that they represent almost the sum total of all that man has produced since history began—that they sample the best of man's creative talent—that they spring from the surge within him toward betterment of existing conditions—and that they lend concrete evidence of faith in the future and of courage to go on in the face of many doctrines of futility.
PRESIDENT WHALEN'S ADDRESS
Like these very ceremonies in the Court of Peace, by which we officially open the international exposition, the fair is the expression of many minds and the work of many hands of sixty nations. On behalf of the exposition, innumerable men and women of all nations, creeds, colors, and stations of life have given their best.
Young people built this fair; people young in spirit and with the faith and courage of youth. They have dared to adventure along the frontiers of modern thought, modern production, and modern science, which take the place of geographic frontiers known to our forefathers. Many a man is ready to admit that with the building of the fair he has grown in mental and spiritual stature. Let any man who has directly or indirectly taken part in the creation of this exposition say to himself, “Of the fair I am proud, but I am more proud that I was not one of those who said it couldn't be done.”
The New York World's Fair was conceived by the men and women of the city whose name it bears. It was caught up by the American people as providing expression for the past 150 years of their endeavor and of their ideals for the years to come. Because there is contagion in the vitality and ideals of the American people, the nations of the world in turn accepted the New York World's Fair as the means of fostering a philosophy of unselfishness, which alone can bring to us an era of prosperous happiness and harmony among men.
Thus it is that we meet here today as a congress of nations intent on the progress of the world. Even on the opening day of the fair it is obvious that the exposition is a stimulant administered to world thought of conscientious and scientific development of all man's economic and social resources. The fair demonstrates the world's willingness to develop higher standards of individual living and all the potentials of world peace. The fair represents the need man has for constructive work to occupy his mind and hands. And let it be remembered that when man does not build he destroys, if only time.
Never in the history of the world has there been a more hopeful picture than the one presented here during the past year. These acres have seen no strife. They have seen exemplary cooperation among individuals, among industries, among states, and among nations. If the buildings, exhibits, and surroundings be considered as "lessons” or “words,” they are words to take with all seriousness, for behind them are the ideals and prayers of ninety percent of the globe's population.
The fair faces the rising sun. We have not been unaware of what has taken place in the world or what is taking place in the world. To us was entrusted the vision of an international exposition that might turn the course of humanity into easier highroads. We looked deep into human history, less for precedent than for guidance along new ways. If we found it necessary to violate many precedents, we did so with the sure knowledge that in that very violation lay the way to true progress.
We looked back through 150 years of progress in business industry, the arts, and social life, not merely to commemorate that period but that we might build more wisely toward the future. We have made tremendous strides since George Washington was inaugurated first President of the United States, but we should not rest content on our laurels of the moment. We shall go forward if we but maintain our faith and courage and hold to the high ideals that have guided us in the past.
Three years ago, when the theme of the New York World's Fair was first promulgated, we announced that we would: “.
gather together the genius and the imagination of the twentieth century to formulate replies to the living questions of our age which clamored for answers from living men and women."
The theme, as announced at that early day, continues: “We are convinced that the potential assets, material, and spiritual of our country are such that if readily used they will make for a general public good such as has never before been known. In order to make its contribution toward this process, the fair will show the most promising developments of production, service, and social factors of the present day in relation to their bearing on the life of the great mass of the people. . nus, in presenting a new lay-out for a richer life, the fair will not only predict but may even dictate the shape of things to come.”
How well we have carried out our trust since these words were written in 1936 the world may judge during 1939. The events of the past three years since that theme was written have neither tampered with the ideals of the fair nor dampened the ardor of its creators. Rather have they contrived to set the international exposition in perspective by setting it in contrast. The exposition, as open today, demonstrates the will toward eventual cooperation among nations, using the tools of peace, namely, the ways and products of business and industry, of architecture and art, of education and science. The many buildings and exhibits, as presented in their splendid surroundings, represent a new display technique, it is true, but infinitely beyond that they represent the new attitude of industries and nations toward their world-wide social obligations.