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Archives - State Agencies - Exposition and World's Fair Commission


This record group consists of records of three expositions and world's fair commissions authorized by the State Legislature. These commissions include the Pan-American Exposition Commission, World's Fair Commission, and the Panama-Pacific Exposition Commission. The State Legislature funded fair commissions and exhibits to international expositions to take advantage of the opportunity to promote the state's natural resources and to entice investors and settlers to come to North Dakota. North Dakota participated in and prepared exhibits for other fairs and expositions, including the World's Columbian Exposition (1893); the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition (1898); the Chicago International Exposition (1931); and the New York World's Fair (1939).

Pan-American Exposition Commission
The Pan-American Exposition Commission was created in 1901 (S. L. 1901, Ch. 129) "to provide for the Collection, Arrangement and Display of the Products and Resources of the State of North Dakota, at the Pan-American Exposition to be held at the City of Buffalo, New York in the Year 1901." Consisting of the Governor, Commissioner of Agriculture and Labor, and the Lieutenant Governor, the Pan-American Exposition Commission was empowered to hire a manager to prepare a "creditable exhibit" representing the state at the exposition. The Commission was discontinued after the Exposition.


30149 Records, 1901.

World's Fair Commission
The World's Fair Commission was established in 1903 (S. L. 1903, Ch. 34) "for the purpose of exhibiting the resources, products, and advantages of the state of North Dakota at the world's fair to be held in St. Louis in 1904, and at the Lewis and Clark Centennial and Pacific Exposition and Oriental fair to be held at Portland, Oregon, in 1905..." Consisting of the Governor, State Auditor, Lieutenant Governor, Commissioner of Agriculture and Labor, and Warren N. Steele of Rolette County, the World's Fair Commission had the authority to appoint a manager to supervise the creation of North Dakota exhibits for the fairs. $50,000 was appropriated to fund the fabrication and transportation of the exhibits. In addition to the agricultural and industrial exhibits, the North Dakota exhibit included the Roosevelt Cabin. The Commission terminated after the Fair closed.

30150 Records Concerning the St. Louis World’s Fair, 1903.
30151 Records Concerning the Lewis and Clark Centennial and Pacific Exposition and Oriental Fair, 1905-1906.

Panama-Pacific Exposition Commission
The Panama-Pacific Exposition Commission was created in 1913 (S. L. 1913, Ch. 39) "to represent the State of North Dakota at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition at San Francisco, California, to be held in 1915 and celebrate the completion and commercial use of the Panama Canal." The Commission consisted of the Governor, Commissioner of Agriculture and Labor, and five gubernatorial appointees responsible for the "exhibit of the commercial, educational, industrial, artistic and other interests of the state and its citizens" and for providing exposition buildings consisting of exhibits, the state headquarters, and a visitor's comfort station. The State Legislature appropriated $35,000 to fund the construction and transportation of the North Dakota exhibits to San Francisco. The Commission expired after the close of the Exposition.

30152 Records, 1915.
50294 Exposition Awards, 1893, 1898, 1901, 1904, 1905.


Gray, David P. Guide to the North Dakota State Archives, 1985.

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