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

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 (, : 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 (, 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

Children's World


 Children's faces

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


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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Humane Society of the United States

Humane Society of the United States logo The

Humane Society

of the United States



Cleveland Amory & Friends
Left to right: Nicky, Mr. Phifer, Mr. Amory, Donna, Lady Guinevere, Jester, Mrs. D'Essen, Ryda, Sir Llancelot (two l's) and Morgan.





What is a Humane Society?

The dictionary defines "humane" as "having what are considered the best qualities of mankind." And first among these qualities is, of course, an actual part of the word "mankind" - the word "kind." A humane Society wants, in short, not just human beings, but humane beings.
The Humane Society of the Unites States, or HSUS, as it is known, was organized as recently as 1952. Yet in less than a score of years it has grown to be the largest national Society in the world for the prevention of cruelty to animals. There are local SPCA's all over the country, but they are independent organizations and are even independent of the "American" SPCA, which is a New York organization only. The HSUS, in contrast, has either branches and affiliates or members in every state in the Union and more importantly, it also works closely with all humane societies, whether they are HSUS affiliated or not, and whether the job consists of rescuing an individual stray, reorganizing a whole shelter operation, policing a rodeo or circus, or sponsoring legislation such as the Federal Humane Slaughter Act of 1958.
Today, any humane Society worthy of the name realizes that while we are, on the one hand, in the midst of the greatest pet boom in history, we are also, on the other hand, living in a sad and dwindling world for wildlife and a world which is, through neglect and surplus breeding, a terrifyingly inhumane one for literally millions of unwanted dogs and cats. Spaying bills are essential - so, too, because so many state anti-cruelty laws specifically exempt laboratories, is a federal bill to protect laboratory animals. On this subject, between the anti-vivisectionists, who believe with religious fervor that there should be no use of animals for experimentation, and today's "research unlimited" which believes, with equal fervor, in every conceivable experimental use, a middle-ground can and must e found - for the use of animals but not their abuse. This middle-ground must establish ground rules and foul lines whereby genuine necessary research can proceed unimpeded, and yet whereby the 300,000,000 animals in our laboratories will be protected every step of the way - from unjust pound seizure and unscrupulous dog dealers to unnecessary cruelty and needless repetition of experiments in grant-happy institutions.
Finally, a humane Society worthy of the name is not just for animals for animals - it is for animals for people. While it believes that the least cruelty to the least creature diminishes us all, it is a resolute in its opposition to cruelty to children and mob violence as it is to bullfighting and steel traps. And, looking to the future, it seeks to enlist a whole new generation of humane beings - who may be discovering for the first time a broad-scale charity in which they themselves can play a meaningful role and through which they may spearhead, on a broad front, an all-out assault on today's age of violence.


The Exhibits
1 The Peaceable Kingdom
A living illustration, in a living-room, of what mutual understanding and respect have accomplished when more than a score of highly individual animals and humans have learned to live together - a United Nations of Nature.
2 The Barnyard Nursery
A re-creation of an old-=fashioned farmyard in which one sees the beginning of the educational relationships so essential to harmonious living - in these days perhaps even more than then.
3 The "Pan-Humanitarian" Room
A room dedicated to the concept of unity, and the areas of basic agreement, among humane organizations - from the Mass. SPCA to the Florida Federation of Humane Societies, from the National Catholic Society for Animal Welfare to the Animal Welfare Institute, from the Wayside Waifs to the Defenders of Wildlife.
4 The Seeing Eye - "Gateway to Freedom"
One of the famed Seeing Eye Dogs and her litter of pups, together with a visual presentation demonstrating not only how Seeing Eye Dogs are trained but also how their owners are trained to work with them.
5 The Workshop
This reconstruction of an early colonial kitchen emphasizes the fact that sheep are the second oldest species domesticated by man, preceded only by the dog, and demonstrates that lambs, frequently brought into the kitchen immediately after birth, became, because of the close association with the farm family, the outstanding family pet of early America.
6 The Rumpus Room
In this "play room" a dozen or more puppies and kittens illustrate that, with an animal as with a child, attention and affection during infancy are as important as food itself.
7 Milady's Boudoir
In a lady's dressing room, a white peacock, a native of Nepal, where it is a capital offense to kill one, and a blue peacock, a native of the lowland of India, together illustrate, by their beauty alone, why for centuries Orientals have held them in more esteem than any other animal. The American Golden Eagle, the symbol of the U.S.A., is in contrast, the most graphic illustration of the unity of power and beauty.
8 The Den
Once the inhabiters of more of the world than any other form of wildlife, the wolf is today, through man's constant and now needless persecution, facing extinction. His only future, like that of his friend the coyote, may be, as these are, as a personal pet. And what more could a man want in his study - a wolf and a pretty girl?

I THINK I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contained;
I stand and look at them long and long,
They do not sweat and whine about their condition;
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins;
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God.
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things.
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago.
Not one is respectable or industrious over the whole earth

- Walt Whitman

Leaves of Grass

Pan-Humanitarian Room

(top) The Pan-Humanitarian Room and (bottom) the American Eagle in Milday's Boudoir - Exhibits of the Humane Society of the United States in the Better Living Center

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

American Eagle in Milday's Boudoir

Beech Nut Theatre

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

Beech-Nut Theatre

The performing arts are represented in the Better Living Center in virtually all their aspects through the 550-seat Beach-Nut Theatre, located on the first floor.

Some of the outstanding attractions of its first season include a musical version of "Young Abe Lincoln," with Arnold Brown as Lincoln and a Broadway cast; Anna Russell in the musical farce, "Lady Audley's Secret or Who Pushed George?"; also featured was a widely-acclaimed Austrian Fashion Show.

It was here that Twentieth Century-Fox Films decided to have the world premier of their film, "What a Way to Go!" starring Shirley MacLaine, Paul Newman and Gene Kelly, on May 13th

The theatre is fully equipped with the latest facilities including Cinemascope and ultra-fidelity sound. It is also equipped for television and radio broadcasting and has two 35mm projectors which can handle all screen ratios.


Culligan Magic Faucet Seemingly Suspended in Mid-air - 1st Foor Culligan Display

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

Culligan Magic Faucet

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