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

50 years ago in Expo history: The fair was a hit, but Idaho’s exhibit was almost universally panned

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

Reviews were glowing for Expo ’74 – but not for Idaho’s exhibit.

The office of Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus “received nearly unanimous disapproval” from fairgoers, which prompted Andrus to vow that changes would be made.

The state’s small exhibit featured five displays enclosed in glass, “depicting life in Idaho and activities such as mining, recreation, lumbering, wheat-growing and cattle-raising.”

But apparently, it did not depict them well.

The governor’s office did not specify the exact nature of the complaints, but the planned changes included the addition of information about the state’s tourist attractions and increased staffing of the exhibit.

In other Expo news, the missing mariachi band, which was supposed to perform at the Plaza Mexicana, gave up on their attempt to cross the border into the U.S. and went back to its home state of Jalisco. The operator of Plaza Mexicana had not given up hope, and said he was still working to get visas for the band members.

Meanwhile, Expo officials were happy with the extensive national publicity that the fair had generated. The New York Times, for instance, had given Expo “pictorial space four times in one week,” an unusually high amount of photo play.

From 100 years ago: A new era in Spokane media began as radio station KFPY began operating with a 110-foot antenna atop the downtown Symons building.

KFPY would later evolve, through several permutations, into KXLY, a Spokane radio and TV institution.