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The Kerley Family Films - HemisFair ’68

W. Clyde and Susanne Kerley

Silent | 1968

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  •  Aerial view of HemisFair '68 
  •  Flying over the site of the Mexican showcase, Los Voladores de Papantla Flying Indians Spectacular 
  •  Enchanted Rock 
 
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  • About HemisFair '68 About HemisFair '68
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This home movie from 1968 includes an aerial view of HemisFair ’68, the World’s Fair held in San Antonio. The film includes flyover footage of several rides as well as the Mexican showcase, Los Voladores de Papantla Flying Indians Spectacular. The home movie also features a shot of Enchanted Rock in Llano County and scenes of children.
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 6 to October 6, 1968, the HemisFair welcomed over 6 million visitors. Famous attendees included Bob Hope, Louis Armstrong, Princess Grace of Monaco, President Lyndon B. Johnson and his family, and Governor of Texas 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 San Antonio River Walk was extended in order to meet the site of the fair, and many new buildings were constructed in the city’s downtown area to accommodate exhibitions from over 30 countries and 15 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.tent