World's Columbian Exposition

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The World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, better known as the Chicago World's Fair, was conceived as a celebration of the 400 year anniversary of Christopher Columbus's first arrival in the New World. Designed on a massive scale in the tradition of the World's Fairs that had been held in London in 1851 and Paris in 1889, opening day was set back and the fair did not open until May 1, 1893. The fair showcased the industrial and agricultural might of the United States as well as the foreign countries that organized exhibits and it introduced the world to a number of items that are now in every day use: among many other things, the Chicago World's Fair boasted of the first ever Ferris wheel and its central court inspired the Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz.