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'33 World's Fair

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The Parade of Progress Breaks All Attendance Records in Mexico City

A crowd of 79,000 greets the Parade on opening day and a record 457,000 visit during its stay.

    Attracting the largest attendance in the history of its travels, the General Motors Parade of Progress closed an eleven-day engagement in Mexico City on January 19, 1938. More than 457,000 persons visited the traveling "circus of science and research" during the engagement. Previously, the exhibition's best day had been one in Oakland, California, when 30,000 people attended. Mexico City broke this single-day attendance record with an opening-day crowd of 79,000 people. On no day did less than 25,000 attend.
    The Parade of Progress opened a four-day engagement in Monterrey on January 27, at the close of which it is returning to the United States.
    Mexican interest and hospitality began even before the caravan of 44 automotive units transporting the exposition crossed the international bridge at Laredo. Mexican officials attended the Laredo performances and Mexican motorcycle police escorted the procession the entire distance from the border to Mexico City. At San Cristobal, 25 kilometers from the city, the expedition was welcomed by Lic. Jimenez Rueda, representing Dr. Joese Siurob, Governor of the Federal District. He rode with Ivan C. Dresser, Managing Director of General Motors de Mexico, and John M. Jerpe, Director of the Parade of Progress, at the head of the caravan as it paraded through the city. A crowd, estimated at 150,000 men, women and children, lined the streets for their first view of the most impressive display of streamlined highway transports ever to visit their native city.
    General Lazaro Cardenas, President of the Republic, accompanied by Dr. Siurob and Ing. Jose L. Favela, called at the General Motors plant on the day following the arrival of the caravan and spent some time in watching Director Jerpe and his crew set up the extensive exposition preparatory to the opening day.
    On January 9, Dr. Siurob, representing President Cardenas, opened the invitational performance, a private affair attended by some 3,000 leaders in Mexican industrial and civic life. The visitors included ex-President Ortiz Rubio; Foreign Minister Edurado Hay; Attorney General Genaro V. Vazquez and Prof. Graciano Sanchez, Chief of Indian Affairs.

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