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Tickets from the Panama Pacific International Exposition
Tickets from the Panama Pacific International Exposition
On February 15, 1911, President William Howard Taft signs a resolution designating San Francisco as the official World’s Fair City to celebrate the future opening of the Panama Canal. Eight months later, on October 14th, Taft comes to San Francisco to break the ceremonial ground. The next day he lunches at the Cliff House, and toasts San Francisco as "the City that knows how."

Sheet music from the Panama Pacific International Exposition
Sheet music from the Panama Pacific International Exposition
San Francisco invites the world to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition for opening ceremonies on February 20, 1915. The City is honoring the 1914 opening of the Panama Canal, the culmination of a heroic, decade-long construction miracle by United States Army engineers. America succeeds where others have failed—against all odds and obstacles from mountains to malaria—in cutting a passage through the land bridge at Panama and uniting the two great oceans with heavy-lifting locks to accommodate the world’s ships.

No less is the Fair an occasion for San Francisco to celebrate her own rise from the ashes of the earthquake and fire of 1906.

View of Exposition Grounds
View of Exposition Grounds

"You know I have never cared for cities, but San Francisco is the most beautiful thing….The White Tower of Jewels is in sight from there. The jewels strung about it glitter and shine in beautiful colors."

--LAURA INGALLS WILDER, VISITOR TO THE FAIR

Cover of
Souvenir book from the P.P.I.E.
Sheet music cover:
"Meet Me on the Joy Zone"

Zone crowd in the rain
Zone crowd in the rain
The 65-acre amusement area at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition is not called the "Midway," but in keeping with the Panama Canal celebration, the "Zone." From Fillmore Street to Van Ness Avenue, the Zone is filled with attractions, rides and affordable food. The Ghirardelli Chocolate parlor and the Welch’s Grape Juice stand, in their own attractive buildings, are very popular.The most popular food of all is the “Frankfurter sausage”—not the hot dog.

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