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Copyright: Hillger 1893

The idea of celebrating the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America with a World's Fair surfaced in the American press back in 1882. Encouraged by the success of the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876 this suggestion was taken up enthusiastically in several cities such as New York, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington. Local committees were set up immediately to try to ensure that their own city hosted the event . This led to a bitter struggle, with the aid of deputations and press campaigns, which ultimately focused on New York and Chicago financially strong cities with an adequate infrastructure. To be able to compete with the successful Exposition Universelle at Paris in 1889 the project was intended to surpass all previous dimensions by far.

When subcommittees had been established in the United States Congress by the end of 1889, the House of Representatives soon opted for Chicago and, on 25 April 1890, the entire congress officially decided to hold an international exhibition of arts, manufacturing, commerce, horticultural products, mining and the seas in Chicago. Three days later Benjamin Harrison, the American President, approved the bill. Tangible preparations commenced when the financing company for the World's Columbian Exposition was founded. On 6 August 1890 Congress approved loans and a national commission, set up by the President, was entrusted with organizing the Fair (as it is frequently called in short). On 24 December 1890 foreign countries were officially invited to take part in the Fair. In 1891 the initiators of the Fair traveled to Europe and Asia to encourage countries to take part. Construction work began in September 1891, and the Fair was inaugurated to commemorate Christopher Columbus by the Vice-President of the United States in a ceremony that was held on 21 October 1892. The official opening had to be postponed until 1893, however, as there had not been enough time to complete the Fair buildings on time.

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The Chicago World Exposition 1893
Opening one year late â the run-up
Year: 1893City: ChicagoCountry: USA
Duration: 1st May - 30th October 1893



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