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Source: Advertisement 1964 Official Guide, 1964-1965 New York World's Fair




The General


Those who didn't want to venture inside the Better Living Center to see several floors of exhibits before leaving could still see its largest exhibit situated just outside the building, an authentic Civil War locomotive called the General which had been a staple of major World's Fairs held in America as far back as 1893 and which had a fascinating history behind it.

The General on display at the Better Living Center during the 1964 Season of the New York World's Fair

SOURCE: Photo presented courtesy Bill Cotter collection © 2010 Bill Cotter, All Rights Reserved. See more images from Bill's fabulous collection of World's Fair photographs at his website WorldsFairPhotos.com.

The General at the 1964 Fair

On April 12, 1862 a group of twenty Union raiders led by a civilian spy, James J. Andrews, stole the General from its station in Marietta, Georgia as part of a daring attempt to destroy Confederate rail and telegraph lines throughout the state and disrupt rail service between Atlanta and Chattanooga. The ensuing chase of the General by the pursuing locomotive Texas ended when the General ran out of steam eighteen miles below Chattanooga. All of the raiders were captured with eight of them eventually hanged, including Andrews. The rest managed to escape imprisonment or were later exchanged during the war for Confederate prisoners. After the release of the remaining six raiders, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton made the raiders the first recipients of the Congressional Medal Of Honor (save for Andrews who, as a civilian, was not eligible) in recognition of the courage they had demonstrated in such a difficult operation.

While the "Great Locomotive Chase" earned itself a permanent place in Civil War folklore, the General itself returned to nearly thirty more years of obscure service for the Western & Atlantic Railway Company, eventually falling into a state of near-ruin and being described as "condemned" when retired from service. The decaying locomotive was located by a photographer/lecturer, E. Warren Clark, in Vinings, Georgia. He hit upon the idea of restoring the locomotive and having it put on display at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago where it proved to be a successful attraction from an attendance standpoint (though not from a financial standpoint for Clark, who went broke from the endeavor).

After its display in Chicago the General spent most of the next sixty years on display in Chattanooga, being moved for exhibit to Baltimore in 1927, again to Chicago in 1933 for the Century of Progress Exposition and to New York for the 1939-1940 World's Fair. After World War II the locomotive became the subject of a drawn-out dispute between Tennessee and Georgia over where it would be permanently displayed and these matters were still ongoing in the early 1960s when the General underwent a new restoration that enabled it to move under its own power once again. A national tour followed during the celebration of the Civil War centennial and, in 1964, it was decided to bring the locomotive to the second New York World's Fair. Because of a tour commitment in Louisville during Derby Week, the General wouldn't arrive at the Fair until more than a month after opening day.

The General on display at the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair

SOURCE: From WIKIPEDIA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_General_(locomotive)), : This image (call number OP-19817) is from the collection of the photographs of the late Otto Perry (b.1894, d.1970) held at the Western History Department of the Denver Public Library (http://photoswest.org/), and is copyrighted. The department actively encourages fair use of its images for educational purposes.

The "General"

After being transported to New York by railroad ferry her engine was fired up and the General traveled to Flushing Meadow under her own power along the Long Island Railroad tracks and entered its exhibit location at the Better Living Center by means of a special track that was laid. The General carried behind it a special "museum coach" filled with numerous railroad memorabilia that would also be a part of the display.

Because of the difficulties in keeping the General over the winter months at the Fairgrounds the locomotive was only displayed at the Fair during the 1964 season and then returned to its traditional berth in Chattanooga. The locomotive would only travel under its own steam again one more time before finally moving to a permanent home in Georgia (after a Supreme Court ruling finally settled the matter of ownership) at the Kennesaw Civil War Museum where it has been displayed continuously since 1972.

The General's presence at a World's Fair that also featured an original copy of the Gettysburg Address in the Illinois Pavilion certainly made Flushing Meadows "the place to be" for serious Civil War buffs in 1964!

To learn more about the story of "The Great Locomotive Chase" visit the Kennesaw Museum's site at http://www.locomotivegeneral.com/general.html.




Children's World


 CHILDREN'S WORLD

 Children's faces

SOURCE: SPECTRACKULAR NEWS Published by Better Living Center, New York World's Fair

BETTER LIVING CENTER CHILDREN'S WORLD TEACHES TOTS

20 Teachers from All Sections of Country in Unusual Program for Four to Eight Year Olds

"I know that only the rarest kind of best can be good enough for the young", Walter de la Mare said in Bells and Grass. This sentiment, inlaid in wood outside the entrance to the Children's World, sums up the attitude and program administered by Margaret Woods for the Better Living Center in the ground floor facility for four to eight year olds.

Twenty certified teachers from public and parochial schools around the nation have been granted leaves of absence from their schools in order to serve on the Better Living Center teaching staff. All have been hand picked by Mrs. Woods who is president of the National Education Association's Elementary-Nursery-Kindergarten Department and has directed workshops on creative education in twenty-two states.

 

Little Girl

The Children's World is completely surrounded with one-way glass enabling parents and Better Living Center visitors to see the tots without disturbing their play or studies. Children are assigned to their groups according to their ages. The maximum number of children in each group is fifteen.

The Children's World is divided into three areas: play, science and art. in the play area, there are experimental toys and climbing gear, a teletrainer for good telephone manners, blocks and a live baby lamb to be fed. Here the children also churn butter and make ice cream for their own consumption.

Going through the science area, the tots watch the hatching of live chicks, observe the goings-on in their cutaway beehive and ant colony, learn about magnetism and dramatize science materials. Under careful supervision, they wash their own aprons in a washing machine.

In the art area they will paint and sculpt, learn the use of a globe and, during snack time, have juice or ice cream and crackers.

The children's World is specially designed, according to Mrs. Woods, to build a passion for the world of people and things. The program is regarded as a "learning experience" and provides an environment for creative learning.

Children may be registered from Fair opening to 5:15 P.M. each day.




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