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    HemisFair'68 is the first world's fair to be held in the American Southwest...Its?

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: WHAT HEMISFAIR'68 IS:
    HemisFair'68 is the first world's fair to be held in the American Southwest...Its site is San Antonio, Texas, the 14th largest city in the United States...Length of the exposition is 184 days, from April 6 to October 6, 1968...A 92.6 acre location only 200 yards from the famed Alamo was cleared for the exposition, and construction of facilities started in February, 1966...Foreign nations, other states, major industries and business firms will participate...An attendance of more than 7 million visitors is expected...HemisFair'68's theme is "The Confluence of Civilizations in the Americas"...HemisFair'68 is officially sanctioned and registered by the Bureau of International Expositions, which registered the Seattle World's Fair of 1962 and Montreal's Expo 67...President Lyndon B. Johnson has said HemisFair can be "...a living example of our nation's policy of Inter-American cooperation...which will not only be a symbol, but a product of our unity."
    A total of 114 nations were invited to participate in HemisFair. Invitations were issued on behalf of the President of the United States by the Secretary of State...Private exhibitors, regions, and municipalities are invited directly by HemisFair officials.

    Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, Colombia, El Salvador, France, Honduras, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Portugal, Republic of China, Republic of Germany and the City of Berlin, Republic of Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Tuniada Venezuela, United States of America. Arkansas will have an exhibit and the host state of Texas will have a $10-million pavilion.

    The Coca-Cola Company, Eastman Kodak Company, Ford Motor Company, General Electric Company, General Motors Corporation, Gulf Insurance Group, Humble Oil & Refining Company, IBM, Lone Star Brewing Company, Pearl Brewing Company, PepsiCo, Inc. (with Frito-Lay, Inc. and Pepsi Cola Company), Southwestern Bell Telephone Company (with American Telephone and Telegraph Company and Western Electric), Radio Corporation of America, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Gulf Oil Corporation.

    Total cost of HemisFair'68 is an estimated $156 million...Local businessmen pledged $8 million, San Antonio voters approved both a $30 million bond issue and a $5.5 million bond issue for a 622-foot tower at the fair, the U. S. Federal Urban Renewal Assistance authorized $12.8 million, the State of Texas approved $10 million, and the Congress of the United States approved a $6.75 million appropriation for a U. S. pavilion...Retail sales resulting from HemisFair'68 should total about $175 million, according to estimates made by Economics Research Associates of Los Angeles, California...Some $500 million of new commercial construction is expected, including expansion of San Antonio's International Airport...More than $100 million in wages for about 8,000 construction workers will be paid...Adult tickets to HemisFair will cost $2 at the gate, $1 for children...Price reductions are sizeable on tickets bought during the advance sale campaign.

    HemisFair will have an amusements area, a foreign nations sector, a U. S. Government pavilion, an Institute of Texan Cultures, business and industrial exhibits, a civic center for cultural activities, and many concessions and dining areas...A major landscaping program will transform the fairgrounds into a floral wonderland...Honeysuckle, jasmine, and many varieties of flowering vines will add rich color and fragrance to the exposition...Some 400 trees are being transplanted on the HemisFair site, where 2,000 are already growing...They are chiefly giant pecan and hackberry...Sycamore, popular chinaberry, elm, and liveoak trees will predominate...A night garden will feature varieties of night-blooming plants...a hemispheric garden will have representative plants from every country in the hemisphere...An aquatic garden will be located in the lagoon area of the exposition.

    HemisFair'68 will have: a 7,560-foot minirail for transport of exposition visitors to nearly all exhibits...a mile spring-fed waterways and an extension of the San Antonio River will enable excursion boats, river taxis, dining barges, and other small boats to reach HemisFair'68 from any point on the river...miles of flower-bordered footpaths restricted to pedestrians only for leisurely, carefree walking...some 1,400 feet of skyride over 125 feet above the fairgrounds...roadways skirting the entire area of the exposition out of sights of the exhibits...A spur channel of the San Antonio River will formed lagoon in the middle of the three-buildings civic center complex, 20 feet below ground level...A ??? entrance from the river walkway will be provided.

    San Antonio marks its 250th anniversary in 1968, making it one of the oldest cities in the nation...San Antonio, the nation's fourteenth largest city, has a population of more than 750,000 persons (nearly half of whom speak Spanish as a native language) and is a major center of trade and culture between the United States and Latin America...Some 56 million persons live within a 750-mile radius of San Antonio...This encompasses all or part of 15 states of the United States and 22 states of Mexico...Nearly all of these 56 million persons have never seen a world's fair or any other exposition on the grand scale of HemisFair'68...Major events in the area during the period of HemisFair include the International Convention of Lions (in Dallas); International Convention of Rotary International (in Mexico City); the PGA Golf Tournament and the Women's International Bowling Tournament (in San Antonio)...The 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico will open the week after the close of HemisFair.

    The Tower of the Americas -- the tallest permanent world's fair structure since the Eiffel Tower -- will be a focal point of HemisFair. The 622-foot tower will feature a six-level top. Glass-enclosed, open air observation decks will afford a panoramic view of the area, and a restaurant at the 550-foot level will revolve 360 degrees an hour, giving more than 300 diners a scenic view as they eat.

    Commissioner General of HemisFair'68 is Governor John Connally of Texas...Other officers include H. B. Zachry, Chairman of the H.B. Zachry Company (Chairman of the Board); William R. Sinkin, President of N. Sinkin, Inc., (Vice-Chairman); Marshall T. Steves, President of Steves Sash and Door Company (President); James M. Gaines (Chief Executive Officer); Frank Manupelli (Executive Vice-President); Allison B. Peery, Director of Design and Architecture; Jack Newman, Director of International Relations; Irv Weinman, Director of Public Relations; Harold D. Robbins, Director of Visitor Relations; William Jackson, Director of Concessions; Arthur Barkow, Director of Entertainment; John Reiss, Director of Marketing.

    Write Visitors Services, P. O. Drawer H. San Antonio, Texas 78206.

    Mr. Peter Franklin, INFOPLAN, c/o HemisFair'68 ??? ??? San Antonio,Texas 78206.

    SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- When Canada's Expo 67 closes at the end of October (Sunday, Oct. 29), the next official world's fair -- HemisFair'68 -- will be just 23 weeks from opening here deep in the heart of Texas. Canada will become an exhibitor in the new fair, with a pavilion showing "all things Canadian."
    For the first time in history, fair-goers can enjoy the fun and the excitement of two completely different international expositions in succession. And HemisFair'68 will be unlike any world's fair ever held -- a six-month long brilliant fiesta in joyous celebration of San Antonio's 250th anniversary.

    At the time Expo 67 opened its gates this past April, HemisFair was already well under construction on 92.6-acres in the heart of the city. Steel and concrete were being set in place and the transplanting of some 400 large trees on the safe was under way HemisFair, the first world's fair ever scheduled in the American south, received official sanction as the 1968 international exposition from the Bureau of International Expositions in Paris.

    Today six months before opening day -- April 6 -- HemisFair has taken on definite form and character. Most of the fair-constructed foreign government pavilions are completed, awaiting the arrival of exhibits from the 21 nations that have announced their participation to date. This impressive list includes Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, Republic of China, Colombia, El Salvador, France, Germany, Honduras, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia, and Venezuela. The states of Arkansas and Texas will also exhibit.

    Construction on the $6.75-million United States pavilion is ahead of schedule, as are most of the projects on the fairgrounds. The Federal government exhibit -- "Confluence U.S.A." -- will be seen in two buildings: the exhibit pavilion for three-dimensional displays, and the Confluence Theater, where 1,200 visitors at a time will view a film by Academy Award winner Francis Thompson on the world's largest motion picture screen.

    Construction of a Woman's Pavilion started earlier this month.

    Many of the buildings at HemisFair will be permanent, giving rebirth to what was once a neglected urban area. The Confluence Theater is to be permanent, as is the Institute of Texan Cultures, the $10-million building under construction by the state of Texas. Here the stories of those who took part in the development of the Lone Star State will be told. Governor John Connally of Texas is Commissioner General of HemisFair'68.

    Probably the most striking of the permanent buildings, however, is the fair's theme structure, the Tower of the Americas. During the past six months, San Antonians have watched in awe as the concrete shaft of the tower was built to its present height of 602-feet. When the top-house with its revolving restaurant is completed next spring, the Tower of the Americas will be 622-feet high and a San Antonio landmark, destined to become as well-known as the historic Alamo, two blocks away.

    Top rank United States corporations are also planning and building imaginative and distinctive exhibits for HemisFair. Films, photographs, puppets, musicians and machines will be a part of the industrial pavilion exhibits by Coca-Cola, Eastman Kodak, Ford, General Electric, General Motors, Gulf Insurance Group, Gulf Oil, Humble Oil & Refining, IBM, Lone Star Browing, Mormon Church, Pearl Browing, PepsiCo, RCA, and Southwestern Bell Telephone.

    The city of San Antonio, which has long been noted for its gay and friendly fiesta-flavor, is also making big plans for HemisFair. Its new $10-million Convention and Civic Center of the fair ground is nearing completion, two months ahead of schedule. The meandering San Antonio River is being extended to HemisFair, offering a unique access by water taxi from the major downtown hotels.

    A similar waterway, now completed, will twist and turn past HemisFair's government and private exhibits and around the rides and games area which promises to provide festive and colorful entertainment for all. Spanning the water will be a number of elevated walkways, giving the visitors a new and varied perspective of the fair below.

    The sale of $2-million in advance tickets in little more than three months is an indication of the support and interest shown in HemisFair in the Southwest. The recently-organized visitor services, a combined effort by the city, the Chamber of Commerce and HemisFair to find lodging for an estimated 7.2-million visitors next summer, is already receiving mail from throughout North America requesting reservations and information.

    HemisFair is not as large as Expo 67. But what it lacks in size, it promises to make up in spirited and colorful festivities, in its relaxing walkability, and its intimate charm. Even for visitors who saw Expo 67, there will be a world of new excitement at HemisFair'68.

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