Dragons-Treasure Island

The Last Hurrah

In 1939 and 1940, America threw parties coast-to-coast.
They were called World’s Fairs.

San Francisco’s was the Golden Gate International Exposition, and an island was built on the Yerba Buena shoals to house the 400 acres of shows and spectacle.
Treasure Island was born.
Ballyhoo labeled it a Pageant of the Pacific, a Magic City, and ad campaigns urged “See the West in ’39 and ’40” while San Francisco held week-long civic Fiestas.
No one wanted to see the war across the sea and around the corner.

The glow of colorful lights still seem to gleam from Treasure Island, and if you listen carefully, you can lean against a pier and catch the refrain of a calliope …

Map of Treasure Island

Map of the Golden Gate International Exposition

Drag your cursor over the map for an instant zoom on the details.

Life Magazine (March 6, 1939)

Article on the Gayway for Life Magazine

Photos from Life (with a special emphasis on Sally Rand’s Nude Ranch)

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The Magic Island

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On the way to the Fair …

A Southern Pacific menu advertising the World’s Fair.