1939 Golden Gate International Exposition

In 1939, the city of San Francisco hosted an international exhibition, named the Golden Gate Fair in honor of the construction by the city of the world's two largest suspension bridges, the Golden Gate and San Francisco-Oakland, which spanned the San Francisco Bay. With all the skill that could be mustered by American engineers, an island was constructed amidst the Pacific waters, becoming the largest ever manmade island. Christened Treasure Island, this would be the location of the 1939 Exhibition. The visions of a fair surrounded by the glory of the Pacific Ocean had finally materialized. However, this captivating scene took place as Europe verged on the edge of disaster. Germany had already begun its annexation of neighboring countries and threatened to unleash conflict on a global level. In only two short years the United States would be fully involved in this catastrophe. Furthermore, at the time of the fair the United States had just emerged from the Great Depression, which had affected the country in many ways. This fair seemed to provide a brief interlude between these two very difficult times in American history. For this event the U.S. decided to turn attention away from the international climate and focus on the beauty of the Pacific, which ironically is named for peace.