Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note

Organization of Collection

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

HemisFair '68 History

Ephemera

Exhibits and Pavilions

Articles

Images

Robin Raquet

Guidebooks and Maps

Collectables

Reunion and Anniversary

University of Texas San Antonio

A Guide to the HemisFair '68 Memorabilia Collection, 1960-2008



Descriptive Summary

Creator: University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections
Title: HemisFair ’68 Memorabilia Collection
Dates: 1960-2008
Creator Abstract: The HemisFair ’68 Memorabilia Collection is an artificial collection created by UTSA Special Collections. The majority of the material in the collection was donated by people who attended or worked at the fair.
Content Abstract: San Antonio hosted the World’s Fair at HemisFair Park in 1968. This collection contains ephemera, photographs, newspaper and magazine articles, audiovisual materials, and souvenir items which document HemisFair '68 and subsequent anniversary celebrations.
Identification: MS 127
Extent: 13.5 linear feet (14 boxes)
Languages: English, Spanish, andItalian
Repository: University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections

Historical Note

The HemisFair ’68 Memorabilia Collection is an artificial collection created by UTSA Special Collections. The majority of the material in the collection was donated by people who attended or worked at the fair.

HemisFair ’68 was the first and only World’s Fair to be held in San Antonio, Texas. This six month celebration was first introduced by business executive Jerome K. Harris. Mr. Harris proposed that the fair commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of San Antonio and the shared cultural heritage of its Latin American neighbors. In keeping with this idea, the theme of the fair was “The Confluence of Civilizations in the Americas.” With the support of San Antonio Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez and several other prominent businessmen, planning for the fair was formally organized under the name San Antonio Fair, Inc. in December of 1962. The organizing of the fair demanded years of planning, coordinated investment, and the support of all levels of city, state, and federal government.

The fair was held April 6 – October 6, 1968, and approximately twenty governments and ten corporations participated and sponsored educations and entertainment pavilions at the fair. The theme structure of the fair was the Tower of the Americas. Despite the preparation and six-month celebration, HemisFair ’68 was not as successful as it was planned to be. Early projections predicted close to 7.2 million persons would attend, when in fact, the fair received closer to 6.4 million attendees. Organizers believed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which occurred two days before opening ceremonies; and the assassination of presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy in June 1968 contributed to lower than expected turnout. Additionally, most of the personal residences once located in what is now HemisFair Park were demolished by the Urban Renewal Agency to make way for the fairgrounds, which upset many San Antonians. Although the organizers were disappointed with the attendance numbers, hosting and constructing HemisFair ’68 had a broad impact on San Antonio, including retail development along the San Antonio Riverwalk and expansion of the local tourism industry. Since the closing of the HemisFair ‘68 many people have celebrated the memory of the fair with the 20th anniversary reunion in 1988 and also a 40th anniversary celebration in 2008.

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Scope and Content Note

The HemisFair ’68 Memorabilia Collection spans the years 1960-2008 and contains ephemera, photographs, newspaper and magazine articles, audiovisual materials, and souvenir items which document the fair and subsequent anniversary celebrations. The vast majority of the material in the collection originates from the six-month period in which the fair was open for attendance.

The HemisFair ’68 History series is a compilation of historical commemorations, designs, plans, and a DVD which contain information on preparations for the fair. Ephemera is the largest series in the collection and is comprised of event and program guides, brochures and maps, admissions cards to the fair, bumper stickers, postcards, and other items from the fair’s duration. The Exhibits and Pavilions series contains brochures, pamphlets, and booklets from the diverse countries, companies, and other groups showcased at the fair. The Articles series is composed of newspaper and magazine articles covering the fair; clippings span more than forty years, dating from 1960 through 2005. The Images series contains photographic prints, photographic slides, and other images taken during the fair. The Robin Raquet series contains correspondence written to her (a VIP tour guide employed at the fair) from various fair guests, and offers insight into the daily activities at the fair as well as insight into the hiring and vetting process for fair employees. The Guidebooks and Maps series is composed of official souvenir guidebooks and maps from the fair. The Collectables series contains memorabilia such as drinking glasses, salt and pepper shakers, license plates, and 45 rpm audio recordings specific to HemisFair ’68. The Reunion and Anniversaryseries contains items which document the 20th and 40th anniversaries of the fair, including letterhead stationery, a program, and a commemorative DVD.

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Organization of Collection

HemisFair '68 History
Ephemera
Exhibits and Pavilions
Articles
Images
Robin Raquet
Guidebooks and Maps
Collectables
Reunion and Anniversary

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Restrictions

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.

Use Restrictions

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

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Index Terms

Persons
Raquet, Robin
Organizations
HemisFair (1968 : San Antonio, Tex.)--Buildings.
HemisFair (1968 : San Antonio, Tex.)--History.
HemisFair (1968 : San Antonio, Tex.). Woman's Pavilion.
San Antonio Fair, Inc.
Subjects
Exhibitions--Texas--San Antonio--Planning.
Fairs--Texas--San Antonio.
Tourism--Texas--San Antonio.
Places
San Antonio (Tex.)
Genres/Formats
45 rpm records
Brochures
Clippings
Correspondence
DVDs
Magazines (periodicals)
Maps
Photographs
Slides (photographs)
Souvenirs
Tableware
Local Subjects
HemisFair '68 (The 1968 World's Fair)
San Antonio History
Travel and Tourism
Urban Development and Growth

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Related Material

UTSA Special Collections holds several archival collections related to HemisFair ’68, including the San Antonio Fair, Inc. Records. See the complete list of related collections on the Special Collections website.

UTSA Special Collections also maintains a library subject guide on HemisFair ’68 which gives general information about the fair and lists additional related resources.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], HemisFair '68 Memorabilia Collection, MS 127, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.

Acquisition Information

Acquired in multiple accessions from 2002 to 2019, largely as donations from various members of the public.

Items in the series "Robin Raquet" were donated by Robin Raquet in 2005.

Select items in the series "Collectables" were purchased by UTSA Special Collections in 2007.

Tumblers, flag, and spoon in series "Collectables," as well as envelopes with first-day-of-issue stamps in series "Ephemera" were donated in honor of Elizabeth and Frank Salamone in 2017.

Processing Information

Processed by Raishell Williams, Library Graduate Student Intern, Fall 2017.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

HemisFair '68 History

Box Folder
4 1 HemisFair history, 1967-1968
2 Anatomy of National Legislation: Making HemisFair '68 A World's Fair [DVD], October 15, 2007
3 Exhibit histories, 1968
4 Hemisfair design and planning, 1968
Box Folder
7 1 General rules and regulations with amendments, 1966
Box
OM7 Hemisfair scrapbook by Hazel Hayes of the U.K., 1968

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Ephemera

Box Folder
4 5 Brochures and maps, 1968
6 Events and program guides, 1968
7 Invitation, 1968
8 Entry/Admission cards, 1968
9 Collectables sale list, 1968
10 Postage stamps, first day of issue, 1968
11 Bumper stickers, 1968
12 Gift bag, 1968
Box Folder
5 1 Postcards, 1968
2 Business cards, undated
3 Church's Chicken, 1968
4 HemisFair symbol [art], 1968

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Exhibits and Pavilions

Box Folder
5 5 Church, 1968
6 Country, 1968
7 Company exhibits, 1968
8 Woman's Pavilion, 1968
Box
OM7 Texas Houston Chronicle Sunday Magazine, The Institute of Texan Cultures," 1968 July 07

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Articles

Box Folder
5 9 Newspaper clippings, 1960-2005
Box
OM6 Oversize HemisFair '68 article, 1968
Box Folder
5 10 Newspaper photocopies, 1968, 1993, and undated
11 Newspaper comics, undated
Box
OM6 The New York Times: TEXAS, March 17, 1968
Box Folder
5 12 A Man and His Magic Rocks, the Juan O'Gorman Mural, 1968
13 El Abrazo newsletter, June 1966
14 Assorted magazines, April and May 1968, and undated
15 SCENE magazine, July 1968
16 Southern Living magazine, June 1968
17 America's magazine subscription brochure, May 1968
18 LENS magazine, 1976

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Images

Box Folder
6 1 Photographic slides, 1968
2 Mora Arriage Family Band, undated
3 Photographic prints, undated
Box
OM6 Oversize photographs
Oversize photographs include a photograph of Lady Bird Johnson and charcoal drawing of Jack Orchard.
Box Folder
7 2 Renderings, models, 1968
3 Rio Alegre, 1968
4 Slides, 1968

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Robin Raquet

Robin Raquet worked as a tour guide for VIP visitors for the duration of the fair.
The correspondence contains feedback from guests as well as insight into the daily activities at the fair.
Box Folder
6 4 Correspondence, 1967, 1968, and 1993

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Guidebooks and Maps

Box Folder
6 5 Offical Souvenir Guidebooks, 1968
6 Official Souvenir HemisFair '68 Maps, 1968
Box Folder
7 5 State highway map, Souvenir book, and Republica Federal de Alemania, ENCO HemisFair guidekit, 1968

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Collectables

Most items in this series were sold in gift shops at the fair as souvenirs. Items bear slogans and images from the fair such as "Viva HemisFair," the HemisFair '68 logo, or the Tower of the Americas.
Box Tray
1 1 Tower-shaped Jim Beam bottle
2 Black mug
2 Green wine glass [2]
2 Green tumbler, tall
2 Amber wine glass [2]
2 Amber tumbler, short
Box Tray
2 2 Green ashtray
2 Tower of the Americas plate
3 Clear etched World's Fair drinking glasses
3 Clear etched World's Fair coffee mugs
3 Viva HemisFair plastic child's sword
Handheld flag
Silver spoon
Box Tray
3 1 License plates [10]
2 Tower of the Americas silver pin
2 San Antonio 250th Year Anniversary coin
2 Tower of the Americas silver bell
2 White ceramic salt and pepper shakers
2 Keychain
2 Eyeglasses
3 Gold bell
3 Silver tray
3 Cuff links
3 Wooden salt and pepper shakers
3 Glass salt and pepper shakers
3 Black shot glass
Box
OM1 Beer mugs
Box
OM2 Beer mugs and beer pitcher
Box
OM3 Clutch [purse]
Box
OM4 Lion's Club banner
Cast iron tile trivet
Box
OM5 45 rpm vinyl records [3]
Audio recordings contain songs titled "San Antonio: The city of so many charms," "Sandy," "Come to the HemisFair," "500 Miles," "Gonna Find Me a Bluebird," and "My Shy Violet."
Box Folder
7 6-7 Postcards, 1968
8 El Abrazo, January 1967

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Reunion and Anniversary

Box Folder
6 11 20th Anniversary Reunion, 1988
12 40th Anniversary Celebration program, 2008
13 Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of HemisFair '68 As A World's Fair [DVD], April 6, 2008

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