Events and interesting facts that have shaped the industry
1910 – Man dies in plane crash at air show
At an airshow in France, spectators were able to witness multiple airplanes flying in the sky simultaneously. However, while about 15 planes were in the air, one of the planes plunged 500 feet.
The spectators were stunned as they watched the wings collapse on Charles Wachter’s Ationette VII monoplane.
The show, held at Bétheney Plain near Rheims, France, was to be an unprecedented event, as most people had never seen that many planes in the air at one time.
1936 – Great lakes exposition opens on July 1
In Cleveland, Ohio, along Lake Erie, the Great Lakes Exposition opened on July 1, 1936. The fair celebrated Cleveland’s incorporation as a city and was meant to energize the residents who were hit hard by the Great Depression.
Organizers of the event included extremely prominent businessmen throughout the Cleveland area.
The Exposition drew 4 million visitors and covered 135 acres. The area used for the show is now used as the Great Lakes Science Center and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Attractions at the Exposition included a floating stage, which held a water music and dance show.
1968 – “The whole world is watching”
The 1968 Democratic National Convention was held in Chicago, Ill., during the middle of a very turbulent and unresting year. By the time the convention was held in July, both Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert Kennedy had been assassinated.
President Lyndon Johnson, who stepped up after Kennedy had been shot, officially announced that he would not be running for a second term.
However, the 1968 Convention is most notorious for the demonstrations that over 10,000 activists took part in outside the International Amphitheatre. During the rioting, the Chicago Police Department, assisted by the Illinois National Guard, used so much tear gas that it spread throughout the whole city of Chicago. The violent event was all broadcast live on NBC.
1974 – Lions Clubs awards comedian at annual convention
The International Association of Lions Clubs awarded comedian Danny Kaye its highest honor at the July 5, 1974 convention. Kaye was presented with the Lion Club’s Humanitarian Award for working with the United Nation’s Childrens Fund.
Kaye, who was known for his roles in Hans Christian Anderson and The Court Jester, was working with the organization as a representative when it won the Nobel Peace Prize.
The International Association of Lions Clubs (now known as Lions Clubs International) is a volunteer organization that spearheads humanitarian projects all over the world. The group has been holding annual conventions since 1917.
Tradeshow History as reported by Exhibit City News
1999 – LVCC expansion halts due to Sands Expo lawsuit
On July 8, 1999, the Venetian Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., filed a federal lawsuit against the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCA). The lawsuit was in regards to tax-exempt revenue bonds that were issued the previous month.
The expansion was to cost $1.3 million and be built south of the then-existing convention center.
At the time, the SandsExpo was expected to lose 60-80 percent of its business because of the legal matter.
2003 – Exhibitgroup/Giltspur unveils design center
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on July 24, 2003, for the first ever Sales and Design Centers for Exhibitgroup/Giltspur. The building, which was located in San Jose, Calif., was hosted by the company’s CEO Kim Fracalossi and the San Jose City Manager, Ben Einer.
The building took the shape of a semicircle, with large windows arcing around a central design lounge. Visitors and clients of the center were exposed to examples of E/G’s art and design capabilities.
Exhibitgroup/Giltspur was also expected to open new design centers in Pittsburg, Penn., as well as New York City.
2009 – Financing approved for Washington Hotel
On July 14, 2009, the Washington D.C. City Council gave the final approval for a 1,167-room Walter E. Washington Convention Center Headquarters Hotel.
The construction of the hotel was expected to begin in the fall of 2009. The cost for construction was $537 million.
The new hotel was also expected to spark more tourism and other redevelopment projects in the area. It new building was constructed in the historic Shaw neighborhood, near the Washington D.C. Convention Center.
2010 – MPEA welcomes new chairman
In July 2010, Members of the Interim Board of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA), which operated McCormick Place, chose David Mosena as the new Chairman.
Illinois Mayor Daley and Governor Pat Quinn appointed the six-member MPEA board. Those board members then nominated and voted on a seventh member to serve as chairman. The board unanimously selected David Mosena.
The changes were meant to lower costs for customers, while realigning McCormick Place operations with its major competitors in the convention and tradeshow industries. The transition took 18 months, and a private company was brought in to oversee operations at McCormick Place.
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