Spokane leaders looked to Seattle, which hosted the 1962 fair, for guidance on organizing their own world’s fair. They were told that the fair was a great idea and should continue. Fair leaders were able to secure a commitment of $1.3 million in seed funding, primarily from Spokane businesses. In addition, the Washington Legislature appropriated nearly $12 million in state taxes to build the Washington State Pavilion, which later became the Spokane Opera House and Convention Center.

The Spokane City Council implemented a controversial business and employment tax that raised $5.7 million to remove the railroad and prepare the fairgrounds for Expo ’74. In October 1971, President Richard M. Nixon officially approved the event. With a delegation led by King Cole, Spokane received unanimous approval from the Bureau of International Expositions in Paris as an official “special exhibition.”

Washington’s influential congressional delegation, including Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, Senator Warren Magnuson and Representative Thomas Foley, secured $11.5 million for the construction of the American Pavilion. City officials successfully convinced Spokane’s three railroads to relocate, with Union Pacific, Milwaukee Road and Burlington Northern donating 17 acres of land to the city. The move was worth many millions and allowed them to consolidate their routes away from the city center.

Cole then focused on attracting countries to participate in the fair and was able to secure commitments from a number of countries, including the Soviet Union, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Canada, Australia, Iran

By Samantha Johnson

As a dedicated content writer at newspuk.com, I immerse myself in the art of storytelling through words. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for crafting engaging narratives, I strive to captivate our audience with each piece I create. Whether I'm covering breaking news, delving into feature articles, or exploring thought-provoking editorials, my goal remains constant: to inform, entertain, and inspire through the power of writing. Join me on this journalistic journey as we navigate through the ever-evolving media landscape together.

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