Organizers of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE)—nicknamed the Jewel City—designated November 2, 1915 as San Francisco Day. The following account was written by fair historian Laura A. Ackley and is excerpted from her book San Francisco’s Jewel City: The Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915 (Berkeley/San Francisco: Heyday/California Historical Society, 2014), the companion publication to the California Historical Society’s exhibition City Rising: San Francisco and the 1915 World’s Fair and winner of the California Book Award, Gold Medal for Californiana. The accompanying photographs are from the San Francisco History Room, San Francisco Public Library.
Panama-Pacific International Exposition management packed the Fair’s calendar with parades, pageants, sporting events, drills, demonstrations, and “special days.” No day was without something extra—a speech, a parade, a competition, or a ceremony.
Organizers wanted to maintain interest, especially among locals, by offering fresh experiences throughout the Fair. “Not only must there be ‘something doing every minute,’ but something doing in a hundred different places,” said Sunset magazine. Each of the 288 days of the Fair was designated a “special day” in recognition of something—in fact, usually several somethings. To accommodate the requisite honors and activities, every day had to do double, triple, quadruple duty or ... Read More >