After the successful launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik, the National Science Foundation and the Ministry of Defence initiated a World's Fair in order to improve the image of the United States against the USSR. In fact, not one but two exhibitions were held: in 1962 in Seattle and in 1964-65 in New York.
In July 1959, the American Congress approved this idea, the central theme of which was "the world and science", but the exhibition was not only to present science as a spectacle by showing the latest technologies but rather as a source of progress and peace.
Following President Eisenhower's invitation, 49 foreign nations participated in the exhibition, but instead of creating their own pavilion, most of them preferred to rent a wooden one. On the other hand, 152 American companies took part, and they created their own pavilion.
In terms of the overall architecture of the site, the fact that there were no building regulations made the exhibition quite cosmopolitan.
Despite its small size of 30 hectares, 9 million people visited the exhibition, which made it a success (relative to its ambitions) and even made a substantial profit.