United States involvement in World’s Fairs began with the very first Crystal Palace Exposition in London in 1851. In the decades that followed, the U.S. hosted its own Expositions, and became a global technological, political, and cultural force, in large part thanks to the power of the Expo. In 1928, the Bureau International des Expositions, or BIE, was created in Paris, to supervise International Expositions. Today the BIE remains the organizing body of International Expositions and Fairs.

In 2001, the United States of America withdrew funding for its membership in the BIE. As a non-member of the BIE, the United States stands virtually no chance of winning the opportunity to host an International Exposition. For the United States, this act ended its history of hosting World’s Fairs.

In 2006, BIE Secretary General Vicente Loscertales wrote, “As you are aware, the United States government withdrew from the B.I.E. in June 2001. Citizens realize and would welcome the strong impact a world’s fair can have on their city, state and country. It would be wonderful to, once again, attend an exhibition in the United States.”

Today several U.S. cities continue to express interest in hosting a World’s Fair. You can play a part in helping to make this dream a reality by signing a petition urging our nations leaders to reconnect with the international community and rejoin the BIE.

To join the effort to rejoin the BIE, click the following link:

Additional Resources Created by San Francisco designer and World’s Fair enthusiast Urso Chappell, Expomuseum offers a great look back at past Fairs and Expos, as well as information on upcoming International Expositions. The Bureau of International Expositions was established in 1928 to oversee the bidding, selection, and organization of World Expositions. The B.I.E. continues to serve as the organizing body of World’s Fairs and Expositions.

Continue to visit for updates and links to additional resources.