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The Father Emil Wesselsky Collection - Feeding Chickens and the Tower of the Americas (1967)

Emily Wesselsky

Silent | 1967

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  •  Dorothy with the chickens  
  •  Tower of the Americas construction 
 
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  • HemisFair ‘68 HemisFair ‘68
  • Tower of the Americas Tower of the Americas
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This home movie features a man and a woman feeding bread to some young chickens. It also contains footage of the construction of the Tower of the Americas in Downtown San Antonio. Opening on April 6, 1968, the observation tower served as the theme structure for HemisFair ‘68, the official 1968 World’s Fair.
The 1968 Hemisfair was a World’s Fair held in San Antonio to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the city’s founding. It was the first World’s Fair to be held in the southwest, and its theme was “Confluence of Civilizations in the Americas.” From April 6th to October 6th, 1968, the Hemisfair welcomed over 6 million visitors. Famous attendees included Bob Hope, Louis Armstrong, Princess Grace of Monaco, President Johnson and his family, and Texas Governor John Connally. There were many attractions including exhibits, a monorail, a lagoon, and a variety of performances. Perhaps the most controversial was a show called the “Flying Indians of Papantla,” during which four men tied to ropes revolved down a 114-foot pole. The complaints stemmed from a mock sacrifice at the beginning of the show, which involved a chicken and a topless woman. This was swiftly edited out of the show. 
 
The popular River Walk was extended in order to meet the site of the fair, and many new buildings were constructed in the downtown area to accommodate exhibitions from over thirty countries and fifteen organizations. Some of these buildings remain, most notably the Tower of the Americas, which was the main symbol of the fair. The area is now known as HemisFair Park.
Designed by architect O’Neil Ford in conjunction with the 1968 World’s Fair, also known as HemisFair ‘68, the Tower of the Americas is a 750-foot observation tower and restaurant located in the southeastern portion of Downtown San Antonio. From its completion in 1968 until 1996 it was the tallest observation tower in the United States.