The Panama-Pacific International Exposition opened on Saturday, February 20, 1915. California Governor Hiram Johnson declared it a legal holiday. The wet weather did not deter the crowds that morning after the six a.m. wake up call roused them. Governor Johnson and the Mayor of San Francisco, James Rolph, led a parade of 150,000 San Francisco residents and world visitors from Broadway, up Van Ness Avenue to the gates of the white city at Scott and Chestnut Streets.
The mob stretched some two and a half miles. By the time they reached their destination, the marching bands and other parade components had been completely lost in the citizenry. The main gates opened at ten a.m. and the main square was filled. Many speeches and prayers were given at the base of the Tower of Jewels.
At precisely noon, President Wilson pressed a gold telegraph key in Washington D.C. sending a signal three thousand miles from New Jersey to an antenna atop the Tower of Jewels. The great doors to the exhibition palaces swung open and water flowed from the Fountain of Energy. Cannons boomed and the crowd cheered. The city’s return from the devastation of 1906 was complete and her grandest celebration had begun!
A single person could have spent 24 hours a day at the expo - every day the expo was open - and still not have seen it all...
Visit the Exposition Palaces where the world showcased their very best
Head west of the main exposition grounds to visit the State Buildings
Take a tour of the world as you walk along the Avenue of Nations and view the Foreign Pavilions
The Presidio has a long military history. See how the Military's Role shaped the expo.
Visit the most sensational sixty five acres at the exposition along The "Joy" Zone
Aviators, athletes and drivers competed during the year of the exposition in many types of Sports and Athletics
See what was happening on many of the 1000+ special days and events during the PPIE
For More Information:
To see more photos and maps, please visit the Panama-Pacific International Exposition home page.
To learn about the legacy of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition and its impact on San Francisco, please visit The Legacy of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.
Last updated: October 17, 2016