McCallen Society Jubilarians Mark Anniversary with Visit to World’s Fair Site

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The site of the 1964–65 New York World’s Fair—Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens—was the ideal venue for a celebration hosted by The McCallen Society on June 1, in honor of its members who graduated from St. John’s 50 years ago, in 1964.

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That year, the theme of the World’s Fair was “Peace through Understanding” and the exhibition was dedicated to “man’s achievements on a shrinking globe in an expanding universe.” The Fair remains a significant cultural and historical event in New York’s history, one that represents a milestone in the lives of St. John’s jubilarians.

Upon their arrival at the park, jubilarians and their guests boarded a trolley for a guided tour of historic World’s Fair sites, led by Richard Hourahan, curator and collections manager of the Queens Historical Society, and Joseph Tirella, author of the new book Tomorrow-Land: The 1964–65 World’s Fair and the Transformation of America. Hourahan and Tirella shared stories and insights about the fair’s development, launch, challenges, and successes.

The group also visited a photo exhibit in Queens Theatre (the restored “Theaterama” of the Word’s Fair), then embarked on a walking tour of the grounds under a clear blue sky. The tour concluded at the foot of the restored 12-story Unisphere, one of the Fair’s most iconic and celebrated symbols.

“There is so much about the World’s Fair that many of us don’t know. It’s been fun to learn about it with my friends from SJU,” said Clare Byrne ’76C ’80MBA, a member of The McCallen Society.

Returning to the Queens Theatre, the jubilarians were treated to a buffet brunch. Each received a complimentary signed copy of Tirella’s Tomorrow-Land.

The McCallen Society hosts events for its members throughout the year.

For more information or to join the McCallen Society, SJU alumni and friends may call Susan Damiani at 718-990-7562.