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Full text of "1964-65 New York World's Fair Groundbreaking and Dedication Booklets"

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May 10, 1963 

Excerpts from transcription of remarks made by 
officials of The Continental Insurance Companies 
and the World's Fair at groundbreaking cere- 
monies for The Continental Insurance Compa- 
nies Pavilion, New York World's Fair, Friday, 
May 10, 1963. 

MARTIN STONE [Director of Industrial Section]: 
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for coming 
to this groundbreaking ceremony. We thank you, The 
Continental Insurance Companies, and the 37,000 agents 
and 13,600 employees whom you represent. 

I think it's significant that Continental Insurance Com- 
panies, as official insurers of the Fair, have provided us 

with this lovely weather this morning. 

Yesterday we had occasion to welcome a great soldier, 
General MacArthur, here at the Fair, and today we wel- 
come another soldier — the Continental Soldier of The 
Continental Insurance Companies. 

At this time I would like to introduce Mr. J. Victor 
Herd, chairman of The Continental Insurance Companies. 
Mr. Herd has been in the insurance field all his adult 
life. He started as a map clerk and examiner in St. Louis, 
Missouri, and has climbed through the ranks to his pres- 
ent position. He is a director of many other companies 
including AT&T, Manufacturers Hanover Trust, Union 
Carbide and IBM World Trade. He is also director of 
many charities, among them the Red Cross, Salvation 
Army and the Heart Fund. I now present Mr. Herd. 

Cover: The facade of The Continental Insurance Companies Pavilion will be a strikingly modern shadow box, framing an 
off-center projection screen; an entrance ramp will be flanked by soaring 80-foot spires. Architect for this attractive 
building is Gordon Powers and designers are Vandeburg-Linkletter Associates. 

1963 New York World's Fair 1964-1965 Corporation 

J. VICTOR HERD [Chairman, Continental Insurance 
Companies]: Mr. Stone, Mr. Moses, more affectionately 
known to many of us as Bob, friends. I think perhaps 
Mr. Stone might appropriately have included in his 
acknowledgements our 46,000 stockholders. This must 
turn out to be a financial success if some of us are to 
hold our jobs, and based on what I have seen since the 
Fair began to take shape, I am sure it's going to be the 
sort of thing that we are going to continue to be proud 
of and be associated with. 

When we learned that this whole project would be 
under the immediate control and supervision of Robert 
Moses, our officers and our executive committee had no 
hesitancy whatsoever in taking the lead, and I think, Bob, 
we were the first to subscribe to the bonds. By doing so, 
we established a precedent which, I think, made it some- 
what easier for the bankers in charge to convince other 
insurance capital that this was something they should go 
along with. At that time, I must confess, we were in 

doubt as to whether to enter the subscription under the 
heading of a contribution, an asset or a liability. We are 
sure now that it will be an asset and probably there will 
be some spirited bidding for those bonds long before 
the maturity date is reached. 

Our interest in the Fair has undergone some other 
transformations. At the outset, we realized that a com- 
pany such as ours, created in 1853 as a creature of the 
State of New York, must participate in this Fair to retain 
its position of pre-eminence and predominance in the 
economy of the state and of the nation. We have now 
reached the conviction that this is probably one of the 
wisest decisions that we've ever made, because I am sure 
and confident that the investment in this project will give 
us an image, or a stature, in world economy that we could 
not otherwise have attained at many times the cost of 
this investment. We are very grateful to all of you — the 
press, our directors, the cross-section of producers and 
representatives who have joined us here today. 

Robert Moses, president of the New York World's Fair Cor- 
poration (center) shown with officials of Continental Insurance 
Companies: (left to right) Samuel Riker, Jr., director; J. Victor 
Herd, chairman; Robert Moses; Newbold Herrick, director; 
and Henry E. Coe III, director. 

I told Mr. Moses that if you were going to award 
medals for brevity of speeches I wanted to be right in the 
running for that award when that time comes. With these 
few remarks which do not bear too much resemblance to 
the formal press release which was put together for me 
to read, I am going to surrender this microphone to Mr. 
Stone. Thank you. 

MARTIN STONE: Thank you, Mr. Herd. I am sorry 
to have omitted the 46,000 stockholders. We'll be sure 
not to omit them as potential visitors to the Fair. 

The next speaker leaves for Europe tomorrow. I now 
present Mr. Robert Moses, president of the New York 
World's Fair. 

ROBERT MOSES: Mr. Stone, Mr. Herd, friends. I'm 
one of those fellows who, I hope, are not unique or un- 
usual — who takes time to be grateful to his friends for 
what they've done for him. When we initiated this enter- 
prise there was considerable skepticism and doubt. I 
thought it over pretty carefully before coming in. I'd 

seen something of the first world's fair, picked the site 
in 1937 when I was City Park Commissioner, and pre- 
pared the grounds which were later turned over to Grover 
Whalen who was president of the first world's fair. I 
little thought at that time that I'd be back again on the 
same grounds on more-or-less the same errand. 

A great deal has happened since then. Everything is 
on a bigger scale. We haven't any more acreage to speak 
of, only about 100 acres more, and we're not using all 
the acreage we have. You get some idea of the scope 
when you consider that there will be twice as much space 
occupied in square feet as there was in the previous fair, 
and roughly ten times as much as there was in Seattle. 
Seattle had about 65 usable acres ; we are using about 650 

Now coming back for a moment to those early doubts 
— I have an idea that we have more critics in New York 
than we ought to have, more than we are entitled to, if 
you want to put it that way. There are an awful lot of 

people who, for some reason or other, feel that they ought 
to advertise all the deficiencies of this area, and say very 
little about the advantages. Others will take a certain 
amount of delight in running down anything that is being 
done here. We don't take them too seriously, but at the 
beginning of any enterprise they are influential, and they 
were in this case. As Mr. Herd said, he and his associates 
were among our earliest and best friends — and they 
helped us at a time when we needed help. They showed 
confidence in us at a time when we needed precisely that. 
Now some of you have attended other groundbreakings, 
and you've been to various dinners, luncheons and meet- 
ings at which the objectives of the Fair were discussed. 
I do want to say this — and I don't say it to show any 
lack of appreciation of what other entities and groups 
have done here — what we're trying to prove here is 
something about American private enterprise. 

We have good state governments which will exhibit 
here. We have the Federal Pavilion and the New York 

J. Victor Herd, chairman of Continental Insurance Compa- 
nies, in bulldozer, and Robert Moses, president of the New- 
York World's Fair Corporation. 

City Pavilion which is in the same space it occupied at 
the last fair. And of course we have the exhibits of the 
foreign nations, some of them old and established and 
experienced, and some of them very new and very in- 
experienced, very proud, very sensitive — and not accus- 
tomed to building much of anything. But when we're all 
through, the success of this Fair, and I have no doubt 
whatever about this, will depend more upon American 
industry and American business than upon anything else. 
These know what they want to do, what they want to 
prove ; they know the image they want to project. When 
they decide to build something they know how to get 
people to design it, contractors to build it, how to get 
union and labor on the job. We don't worry about them, 
but we do worry about some of the others. And I don't 
say that to be critical. 

We had an instance recently where some of us had to 
tell one of the foreign governments that we thought they 
had a wonderful plan, a wonderful idea and a wonderful 

concept of what they wanted to prove, but they just 
couldn't do it the way they were planning it. They turned 
out the most beautiful set of plans I have ever seen and 
now they are all being done over again. Part of it couldn't 
be built here under existing physical conditions, and part 
of it couldn't be built because of the time that would have 
been required. The contractors and laborers cannot per- 
form miracles, even on an overtime basis. These things 
never happen to the experienced companies, those that 
have been in business a long time and know what to do. 

There's only one other thing I have to say. The World's 
Fair notes are going to be paid back and they are going to 
be paid back in full. We're going to begin to pay them 
long before the Fair is over. This isn't going to be one 
of these thirty-five or thirty-six cents on a dollar things, 
as the last fair was. There will be enough money left to 
finish Flushing Meadow Park — I'm sure of that. 

I'm sure that our friends, like Mr. Herd and his asso- 
ciates, will not regret the confidence they placed in us. 


J. VICTOR HERD, Chairman of the Boards of Directors 
NICHOLAS DEKKER, Vice Chairman of Ihe Boards of Directors 

DAVID GRAY, Vice President, Chairman 
HAROLD F. GEE, Vice President, Member 
PAUL V. HARTELIUS, Vice President, Member 
MELFORD J. PITRE, Vice President, Member 
BRUCE R. ABRAMS, Director of Public Relations 


Flushing 52, N. Y. Tel. 212-WF 4-1964 

ROBERT MOSES, President 

THOMAS J. DEEGAN, JR., Chairman of the Executive Committee 

WILLIAM E. POTTER, Executive Vice President 

CHARLES POLETTI, Vice President, International Affairs and Exhibits 

STUART CONSTABLE, Vice President, Operations 

WILLIAM BERNS, Vice President, Communications and Public Relations 

ERWIN WITT, Comptroller 

MARTIN STONE, Director of Industrial Section 

GUY F. TOZZOLI, (Port of New York Authority) Transportation Section 

ERNESTINE R. HAIG, Secretory of the Corporation and 
Assistant to the President 

WILLIAM WHIPPLE, JR., Chief Engineer