When Brussels Beckoned

Vintage Coca Cola Ad 1958 Brussels Worlds Fair illustration of fair goers

In 1958 Belgium welcomed some 50 nations to the first Worlds Fair since the end of Word War II with a message of world peace. Vintage Coca Cola Ad 1958 – Coke goes to the Brussels Worlds Fair.

Once upon a time the world gathered in lovely Brussels to celebrate peace, now the world unites again, this time  in sorrow and support of the senseless terrorist attacks in Belgium.

In the spring and summer of  1958  Belgium welcomed some 50 nations to the first Worlds Fair since the end of Word War II.  The Fair was a colorful event spreading a message  full of boundless optimism, as bubbly as as a bottle of Coke,  reflecting a new society characterized by confidence in it future.

The was to be the biggest Fair since the the N.Y. Worlds Fair of 1939 that celebrated the World of Tomorrow. But that world of tomorrow proved ominous – one filled with horror,war and  nuclear destruction.

Brussels Worlds Fair 1958 Poster

Brussels Worlds Fair 1958 Poster

Thirteen  years after those two Atomic blasts ended the  war, the Brussels Expo would celebrate the rejuvenation of civilization from the destruction of war through the use of technology.

Brussels Worlds Fair 1958 De Roeck

Brussels Worlds Fair Poster 1958 by De Roeck

Atomium

 

Brussels Worlds Fair 1958 Atomium

Brussels Worlds Fair 1958 Atomium (source flickr Mike Cattell)

This first Worlds Fair of the Atomic Age, its lasting symbol would be the Atomium an enormous futuristic structure built to resemble an iron atom. This “a gigantic juggling act of silver spheres” arranged into a towering projection of an iron molecule, beckoned more than 40 million people to the Brussels Worlds Fair.

Belgium Worlds Fair 1958 Sabena Airlines graphic

Visit Belgium Worlds Fair Sabena Airlines ad 1958

The majestic Atomium radiated the avowed theme of the fair “A New Humanism” dedicated to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to building better international relations.

That Fair that opened with such confidence in Brussels that  April with a call for world peace and social progress, seems sadly poignant today;  that optimism now shrouded in terror.

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One comment

  1. Yet we are told that ISIS, whose acronym invokes a pagan goddess, has just conducted a big human sacrifice in Brussels on a major satanic holiday.

    And it’s somehow all the fault of “radical Islam.”

    Yeah, right.

    The date 3/22 (322) is not only the emblem of America’s leading CIA-Freemasonic elite group, Skull and Bones…

    Like

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