Jackson Park (Chicago) during the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition
The Statue of the Republic overlooks the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893
The exposition covered more than 600 acres (2.4 km2), featuring nearly 200 new (but purposely temporary) buildings of predominately neoclassical architecture, canals and lagoons, and people and cultures from around the world. More than 27 million people attended the exposition during its six-month run. Its scale and grandeur far exceeded the other world fairs, and it became a symbol of the emerging American Exceptionalism, much in the same way that the Great Exhibition became a symbol of the Victorian era United Kingdom.
Dedication ceremonies for the fair were held on October 21, 1892, but the fairgrounds were not actually opened to the public until May 1, 1893. The fair continued until October 30, 1893. In addition to recognizing the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the New World by Europeans, the fair also served to show the world that Chicago had risen from the ashes of the Great Chicago Fire. This had destroyed much of the city in 1871. On October 9, 1893, the day designated as Chicago Day, the fair set a record for outdoor event attendance, drawing 716,881 persons to the fair.
The original Ferris Wheel
The exposition was such a major event in Chicago that one of the stars on the municipal flag honors it.