Excerpts from transcription
of remarks made by officials of Oklahoma and the Fair at dedication
ceremonies for the Pavilion of Oklahoma at the New York World's
Fair, Monday, September 16, 1963.
AMBASSADOR RICHARD C. PATTERSON,
JR. [Chief of Protocol]: Governor Bellmon, Commissioner Helmerich,
Miss Tallchief, General Potter, ladies and gentlemen. I have
the honor to welcome you to the dedication ceremony of the State
of Oklahoma Exhibit, which promises to be one of the most original
and attractive exhibits at the Fair. The Commissioners of Oklahoma
for the New York World's Fair have brilliantly conceived the
exhibit as a part of Oklahoma, transplanted to the Fair in the
form of a beautiful park. The park will emphasize Oklahoma's
water development program, and the importance of water to the
state's future development.
Our first speaker is General
William E. Potter, executive vice president of the New York World's
GENERAL WILLIAM E. POTTER:
Ambassador Patterson, Governor Bellmon, Miss Tallchief, and all
of you from Oklahoma.
This exhibit is an example
of civic leadership. The chairman of the commission, Mr. Helmerich,
has been here on his own once or twice; the other commissioners
have added their brainpower and wisdom to the venture, within
the funds available, at personal sacrifice. When you say that
about such a project, you're setting a stage for success.
Oklahoma has a great historical
past, an historical past that is of interest to people all over
the world. The pictures of the land rush, the pictures of your
wheat, your cattle, and the few little oil wells that you have
around the state, are pictures that are known world-wide but
which too few people have seen. But history is not all of a state;
a state is its future.
It is my great pleasure at
this time to present medallions to Governor Bellmon and to Mr.
Walt Helmerich, III, chairman of the Oklahoma World's Fair Commission.
And representing Mr. Dean McGee, member of the Oklahoma World's
Fair Commission, is Mr. Jack Roach; and representing Mr. K. S.
Adams is Mr. Kenneth Rugh.
at the New York World's Fair will emphasize the state's water-development
program and the natural beauties of Oklahoma. Focal point of the
natural outdoor setting will be a large lake, covering almost
10,000 square feet of land, with two smaller streams feeding water
into the lake over small waterfalls. Natural plantings and large,
shady trees will form a restful setting for almost 70,000,000
visitors, and a 100-foot-long topographic map of the state will
tell visually the story of Oklahoma's progress in the short years
AMBASSADOR PATTERSON: Thank
you, General Potter. Our next speaker took an important part
in the conception of the novel and exciting exhibit of Oklahoma.
A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, and of the Harvard
Business School, he is president of Helmerich and Payne, Inc.
Among his many civic services, he is active in the Tulsa Psychiatric
Clinic and the Oklahoma Chapter of Young Presidents; he is a
director in the National Young Presidents Club. I take great
privilege in presenting Mr. Walt H. Helmerich, III, chairman
of the Oklahoma World's Fair Commission.
MR. WALT H. HELMERICH, III:
Governor, ladies and gentlemen. We are a long way from home,
and there are some mighty big things in New York; there are some
fabulous exhibits out here at the Fairgrounds.
We come from a grand state
and I'd like to add that we've got a great governor. One of our
real strengths, though, are the people we have back home, and
each and every one of you here from the state have been a wonderful
help to Mr. Adams and Mr. McGee and me in the small part we played
in putting this exhibit together.
For a long time we tried to
get people from this part of the country to come down and see
what we have. Now we have that opportunity plus some seventy
million more that will be in New York from all over the world.
With your continued support we hope to have something here that'll
bring them down to Oklahoma, many of them to visit, but we hope
that a lot of them will stay with us and live where we all love
We have appreciated the reception
we've received, the hospitality from these people, and we hope
to see you again real soon.
AMBASSADOR PATTERSON: Thank
you, Mr. Helmerich. Now it's my great pleasure to introduce the
first Aggie governor in the history of Oklahoma. He received
his Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture at Oklahoma State
University, where he wrote the farm column in the student newspaper;
and was a member of Alpha Zeta, the agricultural honor society.
During WWII he was executive officer and platoon leader of a
tank unit in the Marine Corps. He participated in four battles
of the Pacific Campaign; he received the Legion of Merit for
action in the Saipan invasion and the Silver Star for bravery
in the Iwo Jima invasion. After serving a long term in the State
Legislature, he became state chairman of the Republican Party,
when his friends decided to run him for governor. I have the
high honor to present the Governor of Oklahoma.
Shown above, planting
the redbud tree at the site of the Pavilion of Oklahoma, are Miss
Maria Tallchief, General William E. Potter, executive vice president
of the New York World's Fair Corporation and Governor Henry Bellmon
THE HONORABLE HENRY BELLMON
[Governor of Oklahoma]: I'm sure I speak for all of us when I
tell General Potter and our other hosts and guests from this
area how pleased we are to be in New York.
I asked General Potter to
read the inscription on this medallion -- it says "Man's
achievements in an expanding universe;" and on the back,
"The 300th Anniversary of the Founding of the City of New
York." Now General, I can't look ahead to the 300th anniversary
of Oklahoma, but I'll bet that we've come further in our first
70 years than New York did in its first 70 years. And I'm confident
that the next 230 years will be equally as great so far as our
state and our nation are concerned.
I'd like to comment, also,
on the fact that I believe this is one of the finest groups ever
assembled to represent our state or any other state.
The fact that we have participation
from a group like this, General Potter, almost assures the success
of our project as far as the construction and conception and
the operation of the Oklahoma World's Fair Exhibit is concerned.
There are a lot of historical things connected with this date
but one of them is that 70 years ago today marked the opening
of the Cherokee Strip.
Also, the date that the Fair
will open next year with mark the 75th anniversary of the Oklahoma
Land run of 1889. So again we'll have a very close historical
tie-in with the New York World's Fair, and it's one to which
I believe Oklahomans will attach a great deal of importance.
When the Congress of the United
States admitted Oklahoma to statehood on November 16, 1907, we
joined the other 45 states as a land where a man could still
find a rare freedom of opportunity.
Today, just 56 short years
later, Oklahoma has completed its first half-century and stands
at the brink of an exciting period. Oklahoma is literally a land
where history is just beginning. We find it altogether fitting
that the opening day of the New York World's Fair coincides directly
with the 75th anniversary of the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889. And
we dedicate this site and ourselves to creating an awareness
on the part of the world that will result in another run to wide
open spaces of Oklahoma in the years ahead.
This is the first time our
state has ever undertaken to participate in a world's fair exhibit,
and I'd like to congratulate the members of the legislature who
are here, for the job they did in getting through the legislature
an appropriation which set the stage for this exhibit, and which
showed that the full governmental strength of the state of Oklahoma
is back of this effort. I'd like also to compliment the World's
Fair Commission, Walt Helmrich,Boots Adams and Dean McGee, for
the effort they've put forth since they were appointed to this
important post. Without the leadership which these men have given
the Oklahoma World's Fair Exhibit, we could never have come to
this point so soon after they took over this responsibility.
Prior to the work done by
Walt and the other Commission members, a feasibility committee
checked carefully into the desirability of Oklahoma's participation
and certainly their work should not go without thanks and without
some thought being given to the fact that they also helped lay
the foundation for this exhibit.
In conclusion I'd like to
say that I believe this exhibit will do a great deal to let the
whole world know about our state. We'd like the world to know
that we are a friendly, scenic, historic state and I hope that
as a result of what we do here, a lot of folks will beat a path
to Oklahoma, and that when they're there they'll find that our
state, perhaps more than any other, is a place where the hospitality
of the south blends favorably with the vitality of the west.
We are proud of our heritage;
we are confident of our future; and we're glad that we're going
to have this chance to share Oklahoma's history and future with
so many visitors at the New York World's Fair.