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Proposed Boston bicentennial exposition planning materials

 Collection — Container: MS 5083
Call Number: MS 5083

Scope and Contents

This collection contains clippings from Boston, New England, and national newspapers from 1965 to 1971 that document the plans of the organization 75 World Freedom Fair, Inc. had to hold an international exposition in Boston, Massachusetts. Expo Boston 76 was intended to mark the United States' bicentennial. Among the subjects reported on are reusable land, the development of the Boston Harbor Islands, and the New Community. Other subjects cover the Philadelphia's bid for the fair, and the South Boston and Dorchester neighborhoods.

Included are newspaper clippings, reports, photographs, audio cassettes, slides, film, and an artist rendering of the proposed site.


  • 1964-1970


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Items in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. In most cases, the Boston Public Library does not hold the copyright to the items in our collections. It is the sole responsibility of the user to make their own determination about what types of usage might be permissible under U.S. and international copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

The efforts to bring an International Exposition to the city of Boston began in 1962 when a group from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, lead by Gilbert H. Hood, Jr., visited the Seattle World’s Fair. Inspired by Seattle’s fair and believing that such an event would greatly benefit both Boston and New England, the Chamber of Commerce joined with the City of Boston to explore the possibility of hosting an Exposition to commemorate the bicentennial of the United States. In 1963, the Chamber of Commerce joined with the city of Boston and formed a non-profit organization called 75 World Freedom Fair, Inc. (Freedom 75). The purpose of Freedom 75 was to raise enough money to finance a study to determine whether an exposition was economically feasible and if it would receive local support. The study was completed in 1965 with favorable results.

Encouraged by the positive feedback, enough money was raised to begin planning the fair. The proposed site was the Harbor Islands. From 1967-1969, fair organizers created a vision not only for the Expo 76 itself, but for the permanent re-use of the land and buildings after the event was over. In spite of the opposition to the fair by residents of South Boston, as well as the the City Council, the Boston delegation presented the “Freedom Fair” to the presidentially appointed American Revolution Bicentennial Commission in September 1970. Rather than designate any one city to host the fair, the Commission decided to have celebrations throughout the country. Boston celebrated the Bicentennial in July 1976 with a parade of an international fleet of tall ships in Boston Harbor.


5 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



This collection documents the plans of the organization 75 World Freedom Fair, Inc. had to hold an international exposition in Boston, Massachusetts. Expo Boston 76 was intended to mark the United States' bicentennial.


This collection is arranged alphabetically by subject.

Physical Location

This collection is stored off-site and will require additional time to review, retrieve, and make available in the reading room.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of James Matthew, 2011.

Processing Information

This electronic finding aid is transcribed from legacy data. In many cases, transcriptions were not verified against collection materials at the time of transcription. As a result, this finding aid could be incomplete and might only reflect a partial understanding of the material.

Statement on harmful description

Archival description reflects the biases of time periods and cultures in which it was created and may include direct quotations or descriptions that use inappropriate or harmful language. Creator provided descriptions may be maintained in order to preserve the context in which the collection was created and/or used. Legacy description and potentially offensive content may be made available online until a collection can be reprocessed because the access that they provide to primary source materials is uniquely valuable to the research community at large. Our efforts to repair outdated descriptions and to describe our collections more equitably are iterative and ongoing.

Former title

Collection formerly known as Expo Boston 76 Collection.

Guide to the Proposed Boston bicentennial exposition planning materials
Kimberly Reynolds and Jessica Holden
2011 October
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

About this library

Part of the Boston Public Library Archives & Special Collections Repository

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