Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

50 years ago in Expo history: The fair’s big opening day plans were revealed, including a visit from President Nixon

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Officials revealed plans for Expo ’74’s Opening Day on May 4 – and those plans included fireworks, 50,000 balloons, 3,000 homing pigeons, a Danny Kaye speech and a possible presidential visit.

The presence of President Richard Nixon was not yet assured, but Tommy Walker, who was managing the Opening Day festivities, said he anticipated that either Nixon or Vice President Gerald Ford would be on hand. (It would turn out to be Nixon.)

Actor-comedian Kaye was scheduled to receive a humanitarian award and deliver the Expo credo. Music would be furnished by a 1,000-voice choir and several armed forces bands.

Walker was also trying to organize what he called “kite flyers” – perhaps meaning hang-gliders – to fly down the Spokane River and land on the Expo grounds. From 100 years ago: Ephrata triple murderer Owen Hudson was finally found – dead by his own hand in a remote coulee.

His body was discovered by a search party that included a brother-in-law of one of Hudson’s victims. They had been searching the area because it was near the place where a posse had lost his trail the night after the murders.

On that day, posse members had heard a lone gunshot, but had been unable to determine where it came from.

Hudson’s body was found in a niche of rocks, with a Winchester rifle lying across his knees.

Also on this day

(From 1972: Richard Nixon becomes the first U.S. President to visit China, normalizing relations between the countries in a meeting with Chinese leader Mao Zedong in Beijing