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Originally published March 17, 2012 at 9:41 PM | Page modified March 17, 2012 at 11:08 PM

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1962 Seattle World's Fair: Take a 'City of Tomorrow' quiz

The Seattle Times


When the world came to Seattle

Browse a gallery of ads

On April 21, 1962, the gates opened to a World's Fair in Seattle that left an indelible stamp on the city's image and future.

For 184 days, locals and visitors alike marveled at the Space Needle, the Monorail, the "World of Tomorrow" pavilions, and the "Spacearium."

Days before the opening, The Seattle Times published a 152-page "Seattle World's Fair Souvenir Edition" that was packed with information about the fair as well as predictions for the future. We're celebrating the anniversary by revisiting that section:

View selected pages from 1962 section

Browse a gallery of our favorite ads from '62

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Take a 'City of Tomorrow' quiz

What's new? That's what a lot of people were asking around Seattle in 1962. And the World's Fair provided the answers. So here are a few questions based on the "City of Tomorrow" special section being featured today.

1) A unique feature about the new Eastside community of Somerset was its:

A) Self-mowing lawns.

B) Nuclear-powered homes.

C) Views of the Space Needle.

2) What Seattle building was billed as the "original Space Needle":

A) Columbia Center.

B) The Smith Tower.

C) The Seattle First National Bank Building.

3) A "typical day in the life" in the 21st century would include:

A) Eating prepackaged breakfasts that "are heated in about six seconds, thanks to lightning-fast ray ovens."

B) Plugging in "the thinkatron" to get the "morning news, predigested, from a living-room machine."

C) Flying to Coeur d'Alene to visit an old school chum.


1) C: The Somerset neighborhood "will offer fair visitors a long-range view of the World's Fair" since it "has an altitude 150 feet higher than the Space Needle," says one story. The article also noted that all of the Somerset homes were electrically heated and received "the Gold Medallion Award of the electric industry for quality." An ad in the section said that because of the "plentiful, low-cost electric power in the area, Seattle was "America's 'Electric City.' "

2) B: An advertisement for the Smith Tower said "The old and original Space Needle salutes the new and greater Space Needle," adding that the Smith Tower was "the tallest building on the coast." For many years, though, it was known as the tallest building west of Chicago. The Seattle First National Bank Building (now called the 1001 4th Avenue Plaza), opened in 1969, was once known as "the box the Space Needle came in." Seattle's tallest skyscraper, the 83-story Columbia Center, opened in 1985.

3) A, B and C: Longtime Seattle Times' reporter Don Duncan correctly predicts the future in a story headlined "Speculation: 'Normal' 21st century activities envisaged."


3: You win a new home in Newport Shores.

2: You win a new home in Newport Hills.

1: You win a new home in Newport News, Va.

0: You win a new pack of Newport cigarettes.

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