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

50 years ago in Expo history: The fair was so popular, it saw its millionth visitor earlier than expected

 (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Don J. Bonillas of Oakland, California, had quite a surprise when he and his family arrived at the Expo ’74 gates.

He was the fair’s one-millionth visitor, and the family was greeted at the Red Gate by the Expo ’74 band and a crew of pedicab drivers who escorted them to Expo headquarters.

Expo officials gave everyone souvenirs and then took the family to lunch at the Executive VIP Club. The family was touring the Northwest on the way to a new job in Alaska.

The one-millionth visitor celebration came a week or two sooner than predicted, because of strong attendance.

From 100 years ago: Clarence Harris, 8, better known as “Tiny” or “Cricket,” had been missing for two days, and his parents feared the worst.

The last time they saw him, he had taken his “fishing stick” down to the river after telling his parents, “Mamma, I’d like to catch a nice big perch like some of the rest of the boys do.”

Police had searched the Spokane River and dragged portions of it, but had found nothing.

His mother also feared perhaps “Tiny” had been kidnapped. He had acquired his nicknames because he was exceptionally small for his age.

“Not long ago, a man wanted to put him in the movies, but I refused as we never go to the moving picture shows and didn’t want him in one,” she said. “He has always had such pretty white hair that I have been afraid he might be kidnapped.”