Skip to main content
GROUNDBREAKING AT THE NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR 1964-1965
WORLD OF FOOD PAVILION JANUARY 23, 1963
Following is a transcription of remarks by
World of Food and World's Fair officials at
groundbreaking ceremonies for the World of
Food Pavilion, New York World's Fair, Wed-
nesday, January 23, 1963.
MARTIN STONE [ Director Industrial Section ]:
Monsignor Joseph McCaffrey will deliver the invocation.
MSGR. MCCAFFREY: In the name of the Father and
of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen. Almighty Eter-
nal God, who has dominion over all mankind and his
works, look down with approval upon the erection of this
new building. Consider that this work will be done for
the benefit of mankind. Bless all those who by their in-
genuity, industry and labor, will erect this building, and
particularly bless all those who in the future will work
in this building. May all that they do or all that we ever
hope to accomplish redound to the greater honor and
glory of God, Amen. In the name of the Father and of
the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.
MARTIN STONE: Ladies and gentlemen, I have
been asked by Mr. Jones, executive vice president of the
World of Food, to act as master of ceremonies, as it were,
for this occasion, because I have lived with him through
many of the labor pains, so I guess I am supposed to be
here at the birth of the baby.
I want to thank all of you for coming here, in behalf
of the Fair. We are delighted to have you. We are de-
lighted at this wonderful turnout and we anticipate that
this may reflect the gate that Mr. Deegan predicts will be
seventy million in 1964 and 1965. Please keep in mind
that during those years you will be paying at the gate.
I should like to read just a few telegrams if I may, from
Cover: More than thirty major food manufacturers and distributors will display their products in the World of
Food Pavilion. Shown here and situated near the main entrance to the Fairgrounds, the five-story structure will
be topped by an "edible garden." Exterior landscaping will be highlighted by rare fruit trees and spice plants.
Architect: Lionel K. Levy. Contractor: Charles Miesmer, Inc.
)l963 New York World'-, Fair 1961-1965 Corporal'..
The World of Food groundbreaking ceremonies, held at
the New York World's Fair, January 23, 1963.
some people who unfortunately could not be here with
us. From Mr. Adlai Stevenson. "Unfortunately the pres-
sures of official business prevent me from attending your
groundbreaking ceremonies on January 23. However, I
would like to extend my best wishes in your World of
Food Pavilion — a subject of keen importance to the
world as a whole." Adlai Stevenson.
Senator Javits: "Please convey my greetings on this
auspicious occasion to all those participating at the ground-
breaking ceremony for the World of Food Pavilion for
the New York World's Fair, and my special regards to
your many distinguished guests. It is indeed a noteworthy
event, and marks a vital contribution on behalf of our
community and nation." Jacob Javits.
And one other telegram, from the Mayor of the City
of New York: "Board of Estimate meeting prevents me
from attending groundbreaking ceremonies for the World
of Food Pavilion. The impressive plans for the pavilion
assure that it will become one of the most memorable
events in the forthcoming Fair. All good wishes." Robert
At this time I should like to introduce Mrs. Sylvia
Shur. She is a director of the World of Food Advisory
Board, and will be in charge of the coordination of spe-
cial events. She is a former food editor of LOOK maga-
zine. She is now director of Creative Food Services, Inc..
and widely acknowledged as one of the food experts in
the nation. Mrs. Shur.
MRS. SHUR: Of all things which a fair means, it
means food too. A fair satisfies many kinds of hunger,
and creates many kinds of interest. Hunger for excitement,
for color, for the closest kind of communication, the new
experience. And a fair means hunger for food too. Of all
the appeals of a fair none is stronger, more lasting, or
more basic than the interest in food.
We break bread here today, even before we break
ground. An old tradition in fair planning — the word
'"fair" itself comes from a Latin word meaning a "feast
day." American fairs became a show place for prize foods
and the birthplace of many favorites in American eating.
It was at a fair that the hot dog was first served in a roll ;
ice cream in a soda; tea poured over ice. At an older
French fair, almost 300 years ago, coffee was first intro-
duced. We owe much to fairs.
The seventy million visitorswho will stream by here, when
the grass under foot is real along with the flowering trees
outside an edible garden, will find more than an imposing
structure. This is to be the stage where the American
food industry will meet millions of adult visitors and the
next generation of young Americans, face to face. Here
fairgoers will walk down a main street of Americana
foods, visit the miracle of convenience foods, find special
food appeal for teens, for sportsmen, for outdoor cooks,
for gourmets and for kids.
They will meet at first hand familiar food names in
very memorable settings. We are cooking up here one of
the great food experiences of our generation. At the
World of Food, visitors will find a dazzling new way to
shop in the supermarket of the future. They may dine on
new kinds of steak dishes, sip a rainbow of new drinks,
or go home talking about their first taste of such novelties
as fried ice cream, frozen inside but batter dipped outside.
The bread we break today is made by participating
bakers whose loaves for one year, if laid end to end, would
reach from here to the moon and back again, with enough
left over to feed even the crowds at the Fair. This is the
drama of American food production to be highlighted at
the World of Food. The prologue to this food spectacle
A giant set of silverware is used to break ground for the
World of Food Pavilion. Left to right: George P. Mon-
aghan, Jim Jones, Robert Moses, Thomas J. Deegan, Jr.
and Martin Stone.
is being written now. Special programs developed by our
Board of Advisors, leading editors, and daily program
activities are designed to make the World of Food the
stage for an exciting, two season performance. The stars
— you and the food industry.
MARTIN STONE: Thank you, Mrs. Shur. Our next
speaker is the director of the Food and Agricultural Liai-
son Office with the United Nations. In 1948, Mr. Joseph
Orr was appointed assistant secretary general of the Inter-
national Emergency Food Committee, and assistant direc-
tor of the Distribution Division. In 1951, he held the
post of special assistant to the Director General, which
post he held until his present appointment, January
1, 1956. For 25 years he was with the United States
Department of Agriculture. I have the pleasure to present
Mr. Joseph Orr.
JOSEPH ORR: Mr. Stone, distinguished guests, ladies
and gentlemen. It is indeed a pleasure for me to represent
the Food and Agriculture Organization at this ground-
breaking ceremony for the World of Food Pavilion of the
New York World's Fair. As you know, FAO is an inter-
governmental organization in which 100 countries have
joined together to improve the world's food production.
Its objectives include improving the production, distribu-
tion and utilization of food, and raising the nutritional
levels of the world's people.
It is becoming more and more apparent that the food
processing and distributing agencies have a vital role to
play in this field. It was for this reason that FAO partic-
ipated actively in the recent Fifth International Food Con-
gress. Our Director General, Mr. B. R. Simms, addressed
the Congress, and we provided an exhibit to acquaint
members with our work. Out of the Congress came a sug-
gestion for the food trade for the establishment of a com-
mittee representing food processors and distributors, to
maintain liaison with the Food and Agricultural Organi-
We hope that this will lead to increased participation
by the food trade of the developed countries, in helping
to modernize the processing and distribution of food in
the less developed countries, and thus help them improve
their levels of living. FAO's particular interest in the
World of Food arises from the interest which we believe
it will have for visitors from the under- developed areas.
We believe that it will give them a comprehensive view
of the most modern techniques of food processing and
distribution, and will inspire them to strive for rapid
development of their own industries in this field. Thank
MARTIN STONE: Thank you, Mr. Orr. I had the
pleasure of having lunch with the next speaker, who is
Assistant Secretary of Agriculture. Mr. John Duncan is
Assistant Secretary of Agriculture in the area of marketing
and stabilization. He participated in the drawing up of
the Alliance for Progress. He is a board member of the
Commodity Credit Corporation — by the way, the largest
corporation in the world.
Among other things this corporation, as you may know,
participated in the financing of the Food for Peace pro-
gram. Mr. Duncan has been in Washington since the
beginning of the Kennedy administration, although he is
from the state of Georgia, as you will soon see. Mr.
JOHN P. DUNCAN, JR.: Thank you Mr. Stone. Dis-
tinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. I am certainly
honored to have this opportunity to participate in the
groundbreaking ceremonies for this World of Food Pa-
vilion. When this building is completed, it will house a
bountiful assembly of foods from all over the world. It
will be a symbol of the ever-increasing ability of agri-
culture to close the hunger gap which has existed through-
out human history.
True, there is still a long way to go, but it is clear that
mankind is on the march. I hope that this pavilion will
also be significant as a symbol of flourishing international
trade. There is little doubt but that the world family of
nations is on the threshold of a new age in trade — one of
immense promise but also one of grave challenge. If the
nations of the free world are resolute — if they coop-
erate in taking advantage of this era of promise — stan-
dards of living will rise throughout the world.
We in the United States are determined to do our part
in fostering this cooperation. We are most anxious to
see a continued sharing with other people of both knowl-
edge and abundance. It is our firm belief that liberal
trade policies must be the keystone upon which the new
age in international trade is built.
Men of all nations are looking into the future, asking
themselves: What is ahead a generation hence? The
answer, at least a large part of it, is symbolized in the
concept of this World of Food Pavilion. Here we shall
see striking signs of free world progress and success in
providing and trading the necessities for adequate and
varied diets. Here we can visualize the advance of mankind
toward an age of plenty such as has never been before
within the human grasp.
And there is good reason to hope that the dawn of
an age of abundance can, and will, bring much closer the
long sought era of peace. It is with a great anticipation,
an expectation, therefore, that we break ground for the
World of Food Pavilion — a symbol of the era of peace
and well-being that we hope and believe, lies ahead.
MARTIN STONE: Thank you, Mr. Duncan. Ladies
and gentlemen, the President of the New York World's
Fair, Robert Moses.
ROBERT MOSES: Mr. Stone, ladies and gentlemen.
I don't believe most of the mottos that were taught in our
early youth — one of them is that man can't live by bread
alone — that's somewhat biblical. I am sure that you
can't live without bread, and I am inclined to think that
we can live without anything else. This is a very signifi-
cant part of our Fair.
Someone told me the other day that what is lacking
in our plans is the big gap that has to do with agriculture.
And I said I think that this food show is the nearest
thing to agriculture — basic ground-root agriculture that
we are going to get to and the thing that people most
understand. I don't know how many people coming to
the Fair and looking at the scientific exhibits are going
to understand them. I must admit that not having been
brought up in science, I don't understand any of them too
well. One group of people tells us that the earth is cool-
ing, the sun is cooling, and pretty soon there'll be a small
number of people on the last marginal piece of land,
freezing to death and that'll be the end of the human
race. And then you run into another set of people who
tell you that the sun is getting hotter and hotter, we are
all going to be frizzled and baked, and that will be the
end of the human race.
And we're told that by extracting salt from salt water,
we are going to reclaim all the deserts and make them
bloom like the rose, and that's going to feed the increasing
population which otherwise would overrun the world.
And we are told that we are all going to eat plankton out
of the bottom of the ocean.
I don't understand these things too well but I think
everybody is going to be able to understand this food
exhibit, because these are the things that they deal with
every day. They are things that everybody has to know
about, and I'm delighted that this group has come in
just as they have — as a group under their own auspices.
Now we had a tough time at the beginning of this
Fair, in arriving at a symbol of the Fair, and we had the
usual arguments as to whether what we had selected —
the Unisphere — was a cliche thing, was something that
dated back to the Middle Ages, that it was dated and
didn't mean anything any more. The alternatives offered
were, none of them, nearly as good. Well they've got
used to that. That symbol has gone around the world.
And then we had a great argument, the biggest argu-
ment, I guess, that we did have — as to whether we should
have a design committee that told everybody what to do.
A design committee that controlled the shape of buildings,
the architecture of buildings, the school of architecture,
and to a considerable extent the exhibits in the interior.
Well we decided not to do that. We had a committee of
five members and they recommended to us that the theme
and symbol of the Fair — a building a mile around, two
stories high, in the shape of a doughnut, and all the
industries, including the industries represented here, were
to buy or rent a wedge of that doughnut. They were all
going to be in the same building.
The exhibitors pointed out that they didn't want that.
They wanted to have their own architects. They wanted
to have their own ideas. They wanted to put up their own
buildings. Well, we were told that that would result in
all sorts of conflict of design and plan — there would
be no unified plan. There would be no central theme,
and we said — well as against that we'll have ingenuity
and everybody will be on his own and we'll have variety
if we have nothing else. And that's what we decided upon.
And on that high note we were told that all five mem-
bers of the design committee would resign. Actually only
one resigned and we went on and we've got along on the
basis of letting exhibitors pick their own location to the
extent that we were able to give them the space ; deter-
mine on architecture; determine on content; subject only
to our right to order certain setbacks and heights. And
that we've done.
I think you're going to have an excellent exhibit here.
I like the architecture. I like what I have heard about the
interior. It isn't going to be like anything else in the Fair,
and in my book it shouldn't be like anything else. Now,
I remember at the time of the last Fair, I had a friend
who was in this particular kind of business and he was
an old Yale acquaintance of mine and he was down here
to try to get some of us to go to Pittsburgh to work on
the Pittsburgh Plan. That was Howard Heinz. That was
the time we were getting ready for the first World's Fair
and we came down here to Flushing Meadow — I was
Park Commissioner, a sort of landlord of the premises —
and he said to me that the Heinz company was going to
have an exhibit and what did I think of having it in the
shape of a pickle ?
Well I said, I think that's a little extreme, but I said,
as far as I'm concerned, I don't see any reason why you
shouldn't have your exhibit in the shape of a pickle if you
want it. And that's the theory on which we've been pro-
I think that there's going to be more variety and more
of a stimulus of the clash of ideas here in this Fair than
there ever has been in any fair before. Now I want to
give to the top fellow of this picture, Mr. Jim Jones, the
symbol of the Fair. It has the Unisphere on one side which
you know is a globe — with these orbits, satellites around
it. It doesn't move. We originally planned with the United
States Steel people that it would revolve, but it was too
heavy. It just was a mechanical matter — it was an en-
gineering matter that couldn't be done. So we get the
same effect by lighting.
And that is going to stay here. That's going to be a
main feature and central point of Flushing Meadow Park
when the Fair is over. And on the other side is the coat of
arms of the City of New York, which will be celebrating
its 300th anniversary next year. Now, Mr. Jones.
JIM JONES: Again, I want to thank all of you people
for coming. It's a wonderful turnout and a wonderful
day, and we will have a wonderful building here. In ac-
cepting this World's Fair plaque, I want to do it as a
tribute to the vision of those who are really the World
of Food. Out here at an earlier groundbreaking, one of
the people conducting the ceremony used an expression
that I think fits our occasion most appropriately. It was
that only those who can see the invisible can do the im-
And today, the impossible has been accomplished. This
showcase and monument to our nation's most important
industry here in the greatest of all fairs — the New
York World's Fair — will take shape after the ground-
breaking ceremonies, when the pile driving starts. Within
twelve months, the building will stand almost eighty feet
high, here at the main door, where millions of people
will be streaming through.
But those who were able to see the invisible — to those
belong the accolades and the laurels, and I would like to
take just these next few minutes to list and applaud each
of those individuals. Because to be here today has in-
volved months and months of hard work, and we have a
plan and a program that will be very unique throughout
this important Fair, and will draw millions of people.
Mr. Paul Virdone, nearly four years ago, dreamed the
first dream. He is in charge of our exhibit design in the
pavilion and he led the parade of the imaginative par-
ticipants that created the World of Food plan.
Next to join the parade was a firm by the name of
Republic Graphics. They were important in the original
financing of the program. Creating the graphic and visual
concept of the World of Food, and to put into a graphic
form the sketches and ideas to the point where all those
who couldn't see the invisible, could see it.
And Commissioner George P. Monaghan, and his ex-
pert legal staff. They were there from the very beginning
and formed the company. They were invaluable in nego-
tiating the original agreement with the Fair Corporation,
and each of the following agreements with all the ex-
hibitors that we have.
One of the original concepts that helped set the initial
direction for the World of Food, came from the public
relations and management firm, J. V. Connolly Company.
To the World of Food Advisory Board, a special tribute
must be paid to each. These represent the nation's lead-
ing food editors, commentators and writers, and they
joined in a team when all that existed was just an idea.
Their competence has been a source of great value. Mrs.
Shur will coordinate these special events.
And the World of Food's sales personnel — they shoul-
dered the hardest task of all.Theydid it with great vision
and they've been on the firing line for over twenty months,
with the toughest selling job that could be imagined. I
imagine they will be leaving a little early this afternoon
to sign up a couple of other participants.
An important part was played by both Kenyon and Eck-
hardt and the Birmingham, Castleman and Pierce adver-
Effective today, the World of Food is now in the hands
— the very capable hands — of the combined genius of
our architect, Lionel Levy, and our builder, Charles Meis-
mer. They will bring their talents to bear on the con-
struction, effective immediately.
But to our exhibitors must go the supreme, the ulti-
mate honor. They, too, saw the invisible. They had the
faith and the courage to contract in a non-existent build-
ing. Only because of their vision and total acceptance of
the World of Food's plan and program, are we privileged
to stand here today. The World of Food salutes these
exhibitors. It's their pavilion, and theirs alone . . . that
will take shape in a way that will show their industry in
an exciting 360-day show.
So the signal to break ground is done in the names of
each and every one of the exhibitors. And they exemplify
the best of our free enterprise way of life. Mr. Moses,
Mr. Stone, if you will join me, we can break ground and
signal the A-OK to the groundbreaking and start of con-
struction for our World of Food.
WORLD OF FOOD, INC.
49 West 37th St., N. Y. 18, N. Y.
Tel. LW 4-2500
JIM JONES, Executive Vice President
PAUL VIRDONE, Vice President and Treasurer
DONALD SALZER, Vice President
HAROLD SALZER, Secretary
GEORGE P. MONAGHAN, Legal Counsel
Flushing 52, N.Y.
WORLD'S FAIR 1964-1965
p^mM *, (53) WW SW» »""
Tel. 212-WF 4-1964
ROBERT MOSES, President
THOMAS J. DEEGAN, JR., Chairman of the Executive Committee
WILLIAM E. POTTER, Executive Wee President
CHARLES POLETTI, Vice President, International Affairs and Exhibits
STUART CONSTABLE, Vice President, Operations
WILLIAM A. 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, Secretary of the Corporation and
Assistant to the President
WILLIAM WHIPPLE, JR., Chief Engineer