University of Texas San Antonio

A Guide to the San Antonio Fair, Inc., Records. Series 03: Legal Department, 1961-1969

Descriptive Summary

Creator San Antonio Fair, Inc.
Title: San Antonio Fair, Inc., Records
Dates: 1960-1995
Dates (Bulk): (Bulk 1964-1968)
Creator Abstract: San Antonio Fair, Inc., incorporated in December 1962 to formally organize the planning, fundraising and designing of HemisFair '68 (the 1968 World's Fair) in San Antonio, Texas.
Content Abstract: The records of the San Antonio Fair, Inc., document the planning, lobbying, financing and construction of HemisFair '68. The records consist of correspondence, meeting minutes, committee reports, financial records, newspaper and magazine articles, press releases, photographic materials, blueprints, maps and plats, artwork, oral history interview transcripts, scrapbooks of clippings and ephemera, and audiovisual materials (film and sound recordings). Most of the records predate the opening of the fair.
Identification: MS 31
Extent: 276.4 linear feet (560 boxes)
Language Materials are primarily in English, with some materials in Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
Repository: University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections

Historical Note

San Antonio Fair, Inc., incorporated in December 1962 to formally organize the planning, fundraising and designing of HemisFair '68. When HemisFair '68 opened on April 6, 1968, it held the honor of being the only "world's fair" that year to be sanctioned by the Paris-based Bureau of International Expositions and the first world's fair ever to be held in Texas. The fair, held in downtown San Antonio, Texas, was open for six months from April 6, 1968 to October 6, 1968.

The idea for HemisFair '68 originated in 1958, with a handful of San Antonio businessmen who had a vision of a world's fair in San Antonio, Texas. Department store executive Jerome K. Harris proposed a fair to be held in 1968 to celebrate 250th anniversary of the founding of San Antonio and the shared cultural heritage of San Antonio and its Latin American neighbors. His idea gained the support of San Antonio Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez, and local businessmen William R. Sinkin, H. B. (Pat) Zachry, and James Gaines, who soon began to cultivate support for HemisFair '68.

The organizing of the fair demanded years of planning, coordinated investment, the support of all levels of city, state, and federal government, and massive time and commitment from the persons involved. HemisFair '68 was financed by: 450 San Antonio underwriters (local business firms and individuals); voter-approved San Antonio City bonds; Urban Renewal Agency funds; an appropriation of $4,500,000 by the Texas State Legislature; and two appropriations ($125,000 in 1965 and $6.75 million in 1966) by the U.S. Congress.

In keeping with Jerome K. Harris's original idea of celebrating the shared cultural heritage of San Antonio and its neighbors, the theme of HemisFair '68 was "The Confluence of Civilizations in the Americas." Approximately twenty governments and ten corporations participated and sponsored educational and entertainment pavilions communicating the theme to visitors.

Figures for attendance fell short of the initial predictions of 7.2 million persons, and were actually closer to 6.4 million people. Contributing factors which may have influenced the lower-than-expected attendance included the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King two days before the fair opened and the assassination of presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy in June 1968.

Despite the organizers' disappointment regarding attendance, hosting and constructing HemisFair '68 had a broad impact on San Antonio, including fostering urban renewal in the downtown area, retail development along the San Antonio River Walk, and expansion of the local tourism industry.

HemisFair '68, the 1968 World's Fair, was the only formally sanctioned world's fair held in the world during 1968 and was the first officially recognized world's fair ever held in the southern half of the United States.

Following is a chronology of the events related to the planning of the HemisFair.

Chronology of Events, 1962-1968

January 28, 1962 U.S. Representative Henry B. Gonzalez meets with William Sinkin, a leading local department store executive to discuss a "Fair of the Americas" to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the founding of San Antonio.
February 15, 1962 Gonzalez and William R. Sinkin meet with 38 other leading civic leaders at the Grenada Hotel. A nine-man Planning Council is established and spends the remainder of the year collecting and analyzing data and meeting with, and lobbying, local business, political and commercial leaders.
December 29, 1962 San Antonio Fair, Inc., is granted a charter by the State of Texas. Incorporators for the organization are Sinkin, James M. Gaines (a broadcasting executive with WOAI radio and television stations), and H. B. (Pat) Zachry (industrialist, construction magnate and philanthropist).
January-March 1963 Economics Research Associates (ERA) of Los Angeles is commissioned by the San Antonio Fair, Inc., to conduct a preliminary economic feasibility study of a fair in San Antonio. Favorable results are released on April 3. ERA conducts a series of subsequent studies as well.
April 1963 Underwriting campaign under the direction of businessman Marshall T. Steves is officially launched. National Bank of Commerce makes the initial pledge of $100,000 on March 23.
April 11, 1963 The first Executive Committee of San Antonio Fair, Inc., is formed. Permanent officers are: Honorary Co-Chairmen of the Board, Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez and Mayor Walter W. McAllister; Chairman of the Board, H.B. (Pat) Zachry; President, William Sinkin; Vice-Presidents, Marshall Steves and James M. Gaines; Secretary, John Daniels; and Treasurer, Bill Flannery.
October 9, 1963 The original underwriting goal of $6 million is surpassed. More than $7.5 million in pledges had been received by the end of September 1963.
December 23, 1963 Ewen C. Dingwall, former Vice-President and General Manager of Century 21, the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, is named Executive Vice-President.
January 23, 1964 The historic German-English School, built in 1868, is chosen as headquarters for HemisFair executive offices.
January 28, 1964 A seven-proposition $30 million bond issue, which includes provisions for a new civic center and the city's portion of the Urban Renewal land purchase price is overwhelmingly approved by local voters in every city precinct.
February 1, 1964 A 90-acre site in downtown San Antonio is selected and approved and site architects engineers begin correlating designs.
February 18, 1964 First annual meeting of Board of Directors.
March 11, 1964 Frank Manupelli is named General Manager.
April 1964 O'Neil Ford and Allison Peery are named as coordinating and site planning architects.
April-May 1964 Robert Benjamin, of InfoPlan, a Mexico City public relations firm, tour Central and South America and begin cultivating contacts for HemisFair.
June 29, 1964 HemisFair staff moves from temporary quarters to the newly renovated top floor of the north building of the German-English School.
August 1964 Promotional tours begin in major Mexican cities.
October 1, 1964 Formal discussions regarding federal participation begin at a seminar in Washington D.C. featuring keynote speaker Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Mann, President Lyndon Baines Johnson's top Latin American expert.
October 1, 1964 William W. Phillips of Paris, France, appoint HemisFair European Coordinator and official liaison to the Bureau of International Expositions (B.I.E.), the official governing body recognizing and regulating world's fairs.
October 28, 1964 Urban Renewal Agency allocates nearly $12.5 million for purchase of the fair site. By the end of October 1964, a total of nearly $50 million had been pledged to support HemisFair.
November 24, 1964 William Sinkin resigns as President due to business pressures. He remains as an advisor and is named an additional Honorary Co-Chairman and head of the Opening Events Coordinating Committee.
November 26, 1964 The initial land purchase of the fair site is made.
December 8, 1964 Marshall Steves is elected President to replace Sinkin. John H. White is elected First Vice-President. Seven other vice presidents are named in a radical realignment of the board structure.
January 1, 1965 Architectural offices open in HemisFair headquarters.
February 9, 1965 Texas Secretary of State Ben Barnes addresses the second annual Board of Directors meeting.
March 2, 1965 Formal application for U.S. participation and endorsement is submitted.
April 6, 1965 Official rules and regulations conforming to B.I.E. standards are adopted.
May 4, 1965 Ewen C. Dingwall resigns as Executive Vice-President over a difference of opinion on policies with the Executive Committe. Dingwall remains actively involved with the fair, becoming a Washington consultant and publishing a weekly newsletter for HemisFair executives regarding federal participation.
May 12, 1965 William Phillips gives preliminary presentation to B.I.E. in Paris. Texas State Senate passes HemisFair Bill appropriating $7.5 million.
May 27-28, 1965 Texas State House of Representatives passes bill of $4.5 million at request of Governor John Connally.
June 21, 1965 Companion Bills are introduced in U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez and the U.S. Senate by Senate Ralph Yarborough requesting funding for a study of federal participation in HemisFair.
August 2, 1965 Fair dates (April 6 through October 6, 1968) are set by Executive Committee.
August 12, 1965 James Gaines is named Executive Vice-President.
September 14, 1965 Governor John Connally accepts appointment as Commissioner General of Fair.
September 28, 1965 Senate Passage of HemisFair bill. HemisFair symbol is developed and officially adopted.
October 1965 Marshall Steves, Paul Howell and Carlos Freymann tour 13 European capitols lobbying for B.I.E. support.
October 6, 1965 HemisFair bill passes unanimously by House.
October 21, 1965 Favorable review of HemisFair application by B.I.E. classification committee.
October 22, 1965 House and Senate agree on HemisFair bill. President Johnson signs the bill officially recognizing the HemisFair and appropriating $125,000 for a preliminary study and architectural fees.
November 11, 1965 President Johnson signs a proclamation authorizing Secretary of State Dean Rusk to invite foreign countries to participate in the HemisFair and also recognizing Governor Connally as Commissioner General of the Fair.
November 17, 1965 Official approval by the Bureau of International Expositions.
December 29, 1965 Secretary of State Rusk sends invitations to 114 countries to participate in HemisFair.
January, 1966 Urban Renewal Agency turns site over to the city.
January 15, 1966 Governor Connally unveils plans for Institute of Texan Cultures (Texas State Pavilion) at press conference.
January 28, 1966 Pearl Brewing Co. becomes the first of 19 industrial exhibitors to announce participation.
March 1966 HemisFair medal is signed into law by President Johnson.
April 1, 1966 Lady Bird Johnson visits fair site.
April 7, 1966 Mexico becomes the first of 23 foreign governments to announce participation.
July 24-August 1, 1966 Governor Connally leaves for a Latin American good will tour. He signs Panama on July 26. On August 1, he has to cut his trip short because of the Charles Whitman sniper shootings at the University of Texas at Austin.
August 9, 1966 Agreement is reached on preservation of 20 historic homes on fair site. Tower of the Americas construction let to H.A. Lott, Inc. and Darragh & Lyda, Inc. ("Lyda-Lott").
September 1, 1966 House passes $10 Million HemisFair bill.
September 14, 1966 James Gaines resigns.
September 15, 1966 Official visiting B.I.E. delegation arrives.
October 6-7, 1966 Senate and House pass $7.5 million HemisFair bill.
October 8, 1966 Final home on site is turned over to the fair.
October 16, 1966 President Johnson signs HemisFair bill.
October 21, 1966 Senate-House Committee vote $6.75 million appropriation for federal participation.
October 26, 1966 President Johnson signs appropriation bill.
November 16, 1966 Frank Manupelli named Executive Vice-President, replacing Gaines.
December 3, 1966 Bonds for Tower of the Americas construction is approved 2-1 by voters.
December 6, 1966 Mural by Carlos Merida is commissioned.
February 15, 1967 Pearl Pavilion groundbreaking
February 20, 1967 Institute of Texan Cultures groundbreaking
February 28, 1967 James Gaines recalled (he would later resign again).
March 2, 1967 New York Press Conference
March-April 1967 Latin American Ambassadors Visit
April 8, 1967 Federal Pavilion groundbreaking
September 19, 1967 Texas International Trade Center is announced.
September 26, 1967 Woman's Pavilion is announced.
April 6, 1968 HemisFair '68 opens.
October 6, 1968 HemisFair '68 closes.

Scope and Content Note

The records of the San Antonio Fair, Inc. span the years 1962 through 1995 and document the planning, lobbying, financing and construction that resulted in HemisFair '68. The records consist of correspondence, minutes of meetings, committee reports, financial records, newspaper and magazine articles, press releases, photographic materials, audio recordings, oversized maps and plats, artwork, and scrapbooks of clippings and ephemera. The bulk of the records are correspondence to and from Fair executives. Also well documented in the records is demolition on the site and construction of the fairgrounds. Most of the records predate the opening of the fair, with the bulk dates 1964-1968. There are a few materials from after the Fair, particularly from the 20th anniversary in 1988.


Due to size, this inventory has been divided into 12 separate units which can be accessed by clicking on the highlighted text:
Series 1: Executive Officers
Series 2: Comptroller's Office
Series 3: Legal Department
Series 4: Entertainment Department
Series 5: Visitor and Exhibitor Relations Department
Series 6: Site Development Department
Series 7: Public Relations Department
Series 8: Printed Materials and Scrapbooks
Series 9: Trinity University Archives
Series 10: Ephemera
Series 11: Oversize Architectural Drawings, Blueprints, and Plans
Series 12: Audiovisual Materials


Access Restrictions

This collection is housed at UTSA's Main Campus and must be accessed via the John Peace Library Special Collections reading room. To request access, please use the Collections Request Form.

Researchers are required to wear gloves provided by staff when reviewing photographic materials.

Original audiovisual materials are closed to patron use. Some use copies are available in the collection.

Usage Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the San Antonio Fair, Inc., Records must be obtained from University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.

Index Terms

Personal Names
Gaines, James.
Gonzalez, Henry B. (Henry Barbosa), 1916-
Harris, Jerome K.
Sinkin, William, 1913-
Steves, Marshall T.
Zachry, Henry Bartell, 1901-1984
HemisFair (1968 : San Antonio, Tex.)--Buildings.
HemisFair (1968 : San Antonio, Tex.)--History.
HemisFair (1968 : San Antonio, Tex.). Woman's Pavilion.
San Antonio Fair, Inc.
Exhibitions--Texas--San Antonio--Planning.
Fairs--Texas--San Antonio.
Tourism--Texas--San Antonio.
Urban renewal--Texas--San Antonio.
San Antonio (Tex.)--History.
45 rpm records.
Audiovisual materials.
Black-and-white film.
Blueprints (reprographic copies).
Color film (film).
Oral histories.
Sound recordings.
Local Subjects
HemisFair '68 (The 1968 World's Fair)
San Antonio History
Travel and Tourism
Urban Development and Growth

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], San Antonio Fair, Inc., Records, MS 31, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.

Acquisition Information

The San Antonio Fair, Inc. Records were donated to the Trinity University Library in October 1968, immediately following the closing of HemisFair '68. The records came to Trinity from the executive offices of San Antonio Fair, Inc., at the fair's headquarters in the German-English School. They remained at the Trinity University Library until May 1985. During this time, many records were lost due to mold and a lack of proper preservation. When the records were transferred to the San Antonio Public Library (SAPL) in 1985, they were stored in the Library's Hertzberg annex, where they were re-boxed and given some preservation treatment. The SAPL donated the records to University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections in 1992 (Acc. 1992-05).

Processing Information

Processed by T. Matthew De Waelsche, April 1998, and Angela McClendon, October 2007.

This collection was processed with support from Marshall Steves of San Antonio, Tex. Preservation reformatting of audiovisual materials was completed in 2007 with support from the National Film Preservation Foundation and the Institute of Texan Cultures.

Accessions described in this finding aid: 1992-05, 1998-06, 1998-42, 2001-41, 2004-27.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, and TARO 2 EAD Editing Instructions.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 3: Legal Department

Series Abstract
This series includes office subject files including contracts and other legal documents and staff correspondence of John Daniels, General Counsel, and Sam Wolf, Staff Attorney.
Box Folder
133 Alphabetical Subject Files
Advance Ticket Sales
1 General
2 Battersby, Higgins Contracts
3 Daily Sales and Commitments
4 Bonus Books, General
5 Banco Nacional de Mexico Bonus Book Contract
6 Delinquent Accounts
7 Bank Facility On-Site
8 Board of Directors
9 B.I.E.
9 General
10 Delegation Visit, September 1966
Cooperation and Coordination with the City of San Antonio
11 General Correspondence, 1966-1967
12 Advertising for Bids
13 Chamber of Commerce
14 City Council Regular Meeting Agendas
15 Condemnation
16 Construction Contract Forms
17 Convention Center, 1964-1968
18 Demonstrations and Parades
Box Folder
134 1 Parking
2 Permanent Land Use, 1966
3 Public Works
4 Southwestern Bell Lease of McAllister Building
5 Ad Valorem Tickets
6 Texas Water Rights Commission
7 Tower, general, 1966-1968
8 HemisFair Operating Agreement
9 Utilities and Chilled Water Systems
10 Urban Renewal, 1961-1967
11-12 Club Abrazo, 1967-1968
Box Folder
135 Committees
1 General Index
2 Cultural Participation
3 Educational
4 Executive Committee
5 Federal Participation
6 Pan-American Particpation
7 General
8 Mark J. Barton
9 Claim Against Butler Manufacturing Company
10 Herring Coe
11 Janus Films
12 Jennite Co. of Texas, Inc.
13 Connie Lance
14 Jay Lewis Rubin
15 Cecil Rumsower
16 Jay Shelman
17 Tri-Electric Supply Co. and Electro Lighting Southern, Inc.
18 Concessionaire Rules and Regulations
19 General Correspondence
20 Assignment of Rights (miscellaneous)
21 Miscellaneous Clauses
22 Proposed Contracts for Writers and Artists
23 Contract Violations
NOTE: Each individual contract is not listed separately in this finding aid but they are listed on the folders in the Boxes.
Box Folder
136 Concessionaire Contracts
Box Folder
136-138 Lease Agreements
Box Folder
139 Authorized Supplier Agreements
Box Folder
139-140 Designated Supplier Agreements
Box Folder
140 Exclusive Supplier Agreements
Products Identification Agreements
Box Folder
141-142 Entertainment Contracts
NOTE: Some may be duplicated in Series 4: Entertainment Department
Box Folder
143 Exhibitor Lease agreements A - M
Box Folder
144-145 Exhibitor Leases N - W
Service Contracts A - O
Box Folder
146-147 Service Contracts P - X
Box Folder
148 Copyrights and Trademarks
1 General Correspondence
2 Application Forms; Copyright Office Circulars
3 General
4 Unfair Competition
5 University of Notre Dame v. 20th Century Fox Legal Case
6 Methods of Handling Unsolicited materials
7-8 Requests for Use of Symbols, 1965-1968
9 Songs
10 San Antonio World's Fair
11 Texas World's Fair, Inc.
12 Tower
Copyrighted Servicemarks
Texas State Servicemarks
13 General 1964-1967
14 Confluence Symbol
15 Disc & Gear Symbol
U.S. Servicemark Registration
16 General, 1964-1966
17 Confluence Symbol
18 Disc & Gear Symbol
Box Folder
149 1 Directories of Government Officials (Local, State and Federal)
2 Education: Inter-American Educational Center
3 General Correspondence
4 Local Band Concerts
5 Ernst & Ernst Management Study, 1966
6 Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, 1963
7 Fair Syndicate, Inc.
Federal Participation
8 General Correspondence, 1964-1965
9 Certifications of Executive Committee Members
10 Commissioner General Controversy
11-12 Conservation Society, 1965-1967
Box Folder
150 1 Customs
Department of Commerce
2 General Correspondence, 1967-1968
3 Federal Pavilion 1965-1968
Federal Legislation
4 Conflict of Interest, 1966
5 Local Bank Loans
6 Site Development
Federal Site Deed
7 1966 January-June
8 1966 July-1967 March
9 Participation Agreement with the U.S. Government
Box Folder
151 1 Correspondence with Congressman Henry B. Gonzales
2 Trip Reports, 1965
3 Washington Office (E.C. Dingwall), 1965-1967
Foreign Participation
4 Communist Nations
5 Latin America
6 Mexican Tourism and Immigration
7 Visas for Alien Personnel
Participating Countries
8 Government Closed Space Lease Agreements (general)
9 Belgium
10 Bolivia
11 Brazil
12 Canada
13 Central American Republics
14 China
15 Colombia
16 France
17 Germany
18 Italy
19 Japan
20 Korea
21 Mexico
22 Nicaragua
23 Organization of American States (OAS)
24 Panama
25 Portugal
Box Folder
152 1 Spain
2 Switzerland
3 Thailand
4 Uruguary
5 Venezuela
6 Solicitations of Bids for Foreign Merchandise
7 General Correspondence, 1965-1968
8 Claims
9 Coverage of Contracted Performers
10 Art Barkow, Insurance Bond
11 Junior Olympics
12 General Correspondence
13 Equal Employment Opportunities
14 Labor Relations, 1966-1968
15 Maintenance by Contract
16 Motion Picture Projectionist Union
17 Musician Union
18 Wages and Hour Laws
Box Folder
153 Leases
1 General Correspondence, 1965-1968
2 Letter of Intent/Performance Bond
3 Lease Agreements
4 Legal Forms
5 Maintenance, 1966
6 HemisFair Medallion
7 National Advisory Commission, 1965-1966
8 National Legislative Conference Executive Committee
Office Administration
9 Application for Bulk Mailing Rate
10 Budget & Finance
11 Officer of the Day
12 Opening Day Ceremonies Planning, 1967-1968
13 Organization Charts
Other Fairs
14 Proposed Long Beach, California, Fair, 1965-1966
15 Interama Miami, Florida, 1965-1966
16 Alaskan Exposition, 1967
17 Expo '67, Montreal
18 Expo '70, Osaka, Japan
Box Folder
154 Parking
1 Feasibility Study of Parking Structure, 1965
2 IH-37 Right of Way
3 IH-37 Remote Lot
4 Parcels 8 & 10
5 Participant's Manual Rules and Regulations
6 Passes and ID
7 General correspondence
8 Search for HemisFair Executive Director, 1963
9 Ewen C. Dingwall Contract, Resignation, 1965
10 Agreement with William Philips (European Agent - Paris Office)
11 Contracts with Ford and Peery, Architects
Staff Attorney
12 Applications and Resumes
13 John Watson, General Correspondence
14 Proposed Modification of Policy
15 Policies and Procedures (general), 1965-1968
16 Post-Fair Planning, 1968
17 Post Office on Site
18 Commemorative Postage Stamp, 1966-1968
Box Folder
155 Publicity
1 Miscellaneous
2 Exhibitor Newsletters, 1966
Public Relations
3 P.R. Background for Speeches, 1963-1964
4 Fact Sheets, 1965-1967
5 Infoplan, 1966-1967
6 Media Associates, 1965-1966
7 Tie-In Advertising
8 CPM Construction Progress Reports
9 Domestic Participation Division Miscellaneous Reports
Rules and Regulations
10-11 General, 1965-1968
12 Conflict of Interest and Awarding of Contracts, 1965-1966
13 Construction Building Codes, 1966
14 Graphic Manual, 1964-1966
Box Folder
156 1 San Antonio Legislative Delegation
2 Sculptures
3 Security, 1967-1968
4 Site Development, 1963-1964
State Participation
5 General Correspondence, 1964-1967
6 Complimentary Tickets for State Legislators
7 Deed to State of Texas, 1966-1967
8 Institute of Texan Cultures (Texas State Pavilion)
9 Interstate Commerce Commission
10 License Plate Advertising, 1966-1967
11 Proposed Legislation to Protect HemisFair Rights, 1966-1968
12 State Legislature, 1967-1968
13 Texas Liquor Control Board
14 Sunday Sales, "Blue Laws"
Box Folder
157 1 Taxes, 1963-1968
2 Telephone Facilites on-site
3 Theme Structure General Correspondence, 1965
4 Architect's Contracts; Bidding Procedures; Field Notes
5 City Bond Election, 1966 December
6 Controversy re: Rheiner Contract
7 Legal Documents, 1965-1966
8 Loan Agreement, 1967
9 Minutes of Meetings of Board of Trustees, 1966
10 Reproduction Rights, 1966-1967
11 State Legislation, 1965
12 Tower Corporation Court Case, November 1966
13 Trade Dollar, 1966
14 Underwriting
15 Visitor Relations
16 Protocol
17 Phyllis Yampolsky
Box Folder
158 Staff Correspondence
1-5 John Daniels, General Counsel, 1962-1968
Box Folder
159 1-7 Sam Wolf, Staff Attorney, 1967 December-1968 March
Box Folder
160 1-6 Sam Wolf, Staff Attorney, 1968 April-June
Box Folder
161 1-7 Sam Wolf, Staff Attorney, 1968 July-1969 January