Primary Source: The 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition

February 18, 1939

Jack James and Earle Weller, authors of “Treasure Island: The Magic City,” recall Opening Day.

Exposition President Leland Cutler leads off the speeches.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt addresses the crowd from Florida.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt reviews troops and removes his hat for the national anthem on the Golden Gate Bridge, July 14, 1938. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Images from the exposition.

An advertisement poster. (
A map of the exposition grounds at Treasure Island. (
An aerial view of the exposition. (San Francisco Chronicle)
Fair-goers mill about in the Court of Pacifica. (Wikimedia)
A woman views the Temple Compound. (
Attendees admire the Goodyear blimp. (
A woman checks her program at the Fountain of the Evening Star. (
The “Art in Action” exhibit as seen from the scaffolding for Diego Rivera’s mural. The exhibit, where patrons could watch artists in the process of creating their works, was created in response to the European art being shipped home after the outbreak of the war. (
The Fourth of July celebration at The Gayway. (Indiana University)
Six women test the goods at the General Motors exhibit. (

The Santa Cruz Evening News informs its readers what’s happening up north.

A postcard from the exposition. (San Francisco Bay Area Post Card Club)



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Noel C. Cilker

I’m a writer, interested in history’s stories and the links between then and now.