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Press Release of Senator Cantwell
VIDEO: Cantwell, Murray Introduce Senate Resolution Honoring World’s Fair Anniversary
Cantwell in floor speech: Fair brought Elvis, flying car predictions, ushered in Seattle innovation economy ***VIDEO AVAILABLE***
Thursday, April 19,2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced a resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary this Saturday of the Seattle World’s Fair. The months-long exposition began on April 21, 1962. Senator Cantwell spoke on the Senate floor highlighting the significance of the occasion.
“The World’s Fair was a bridge to the 21st century,” Cantwell said on the Senate floor today. “Especially for our Washington state economy. The fair foreshadowed that Puget Sound and the entire state as a region would look to innovation and entrepreneurship. The Seattle Fair gave the public a glimpse of what life would be like in the 21st century. And in the following years, Washington state was home to many of the innovations and technologies that revolutionized the way we live and work.”
Watch a video of Senator Cantwell’s floor speech.
The text of the resolution and a transcript of Cantwell’s floor speech follow.
Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair
Whereas on April 21, 2012, the City of Seattle will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair which showcased Seattle’s optimism, energy, and innovative spirit;
Whereas more than 9 million people visited the Seattle World’s Fair, which at the time represented roughly three times the total state population;
Whereas the Seattle World’s Fair brought together the Pacific Northwest’s most talented architects to create a civic legacy and the treasured Seattle Center public space that includes the Space Needle, Seattle Center Armory, Pacific Science Center, Coliseum which is now known as Key Arena, Memorial Stadium, International Fountain, and Opera House;
Whereas the Seattle World’s Fair facilitated the construction of key transportation infrastructure, including the SR 520 floating bridge, Interstate 5 through downtown Seattle, and the Monorail;
Whereas to officially open the 1962 World’s Fair President Kennedy used the same historic telegraphic key used 53 years earlier to open the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle;
Whereas the attendance of music icon Elvis Presley during the filming of the movie “It Happened At The World’s Fair” further elevated the City of Seattle to an international city for the arts;
Whereas the theme of the Seattle World’s Fair, “Science,” foreshadowed regional innovations in technology and advanced manufacturing that support world leading companies and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs today;
Whereas some of the first satellite transmissions of telephone calls and television broadcasts occurred at the Seattle World’s Fair and today the Seattle area is home to global information and communications technology companies;
Whereas the Seattle World’s Fair celebrated aviation and the new Space Age and today the Aerospace industry in the Seattle area employs 82,000 people (including 7,000 engineers), produces annual revenue of $32 billion, and includes a cluster of 650 companies;
Now, therefore, be it
Resolved,That the Senate--
(1) celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair;
(2) commends the City of Seattle for its innovation, growth, and entrepreneurial spirit in the last 50 years;
(3) supports the Next Fifty initiative to develop a blueprint for success in the next half-century; and
(4) requests the Secretary of the Senate to transmit an enrolled copy of this resolution for appropriate display to the City of Seattle.
FLOOR SPEECH TRANSCRIPT:
Thank you Madam President.
This Saturday Madam President marks the 50th anniversary of Seattle’s World’s Fair.
And the fair is really a presentation of what the world would be like in the 21st century. The Space Needle was built and it gave us an iconic symbol that still lasts and defines our skyline today.
More than 9 million people visited that World’s Fair in 1962.
Elvis Presley stopped by during a film of a movie because the movie was called ‘It Happened at the World’s Fair.’
And all the visitors saw a very futuristic rendition of what boundless energy and innovative spirit in America would be all about.
President Kennedy opened the fair highlighting the innovation in science and technology and said that: “These accomplishments are a bridge which will carry us confidently towards the 21st century.”
Indeed, the World’s Fair was a bridge to the 21st century. Especially for our Washington state economy.
The fair foreshadowed that Puget Sound and the entire state as a region would look to innovation and entrepreneurship.
The Seattle Fair gave the public a glimpse of what life would be like in the 21st Century.
And in the following years, Washington state was home to many of the innovations and technologies that revolutionized the way we live and work.
In 1962, Seattle was home to the first satellite transmission of telephone calls and television broadcasts.
That same year, the Seattle Times declared, ‘Boeing is a space age company to stay’
And the rest of the changes that we’ve continued to see have led to many things including Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner that is a 21st century plane.
Also it helped in setting a tone. Bill Gates took his company from his parent’s house to a global headquarters in Redmond, Washington.
It was a company that was founded in 1975.
And after opening its first store in Seattle in 1983, Costco became one of the first companies ever to go from zero to 3-billion in sales in just under six years.
Amazon revolutionized the way people shop online and it is a company that has continued to make innovations.
And today many other companies in Washington state –everything from composites for airlines to lean manufacturing to mobile apps to software to clean energy technology – companies are continuing to innovate and to make sure that we have a talented workforce to carry out those.
So 50 years ago, the World’s Fair and what was announced there, made sure that the United States was poised for big things to come.
Some of the predictions that we saw about life in the 21st century may not have come true yet.
Things like flying cars. Although I just recently saw an article about flying cars so maybe they weren’t too far off.
But other things were right on. As they predicted that one day you’ll be able to have a telephone in your pocket.
50 years later, we look back see a glimpse of the 21st century in the exhibitions and the booths that were at the World’s Fair. But we also see how fast the future can really come. And what we need to do to keep moving forward, not just in Washington state but here in the country in an innovation economy.
I thank the President and I yield the floor.