NEW YORK -- Eager to be awed and thrilled by the spectacular wonderland of the New York world's fair of 1939 that overwhelmed the credulity of an opening day attendance of 605,504 another avalanche of visitors poured through the merrily clicking turnstiles today.
Grover Whalen, the impeccable, super-showman who wrought the $156,000,000 exposition which flings itself over 1216 1-2 acres of what three years ago were swampy meadows, temporarily stepped from the spotlight yesterday afternoon as President Roosevelt dedicated the fair to universal peace which he envisioned in the world of tomorrow.
His hopes were echoed by Gov. Herbert H. Lehman of New York, Mayor F.H. LaGuardia of New York City, and Sir Louis Beale, the British commissioner general who spoke for the more than 50 foreign nations exhibiting at the fair.
Flags of all nations save Germany's fluttered in the breeze and the President, addressing a specially invited crowd of 60,000 in the outdoors court of peace in front of the federal building, studiously abstained from any reference to that country.
The inauguration of Gen. George Washington as America's first president 150 years ago, the theme upon which the fair was launched, was re-enacted on constitution mall at an elaborate pageant climaxed with the dedication of the towering 68-foot statue of the Revolutionary war hero by Governor Lehman.
At night, hundreds of brilliant lights transformed the fair and its fountains into visions of unbelievable beauty. The huge 700-foot trylon and the 200-foot perisphere, theme centers of the exhibit, appeared to float in an incandescent haze. Other buildings were metamorphosed into luminous panels of rainbow magic.
In the ball of the perisphere, an endless stream of visitors saw the "world of tomorrow" as the designers of the fair hope it will be.
The Army, Navy and Marine Corps participated in the official opening to the number of 3,400. Hundreds of sailors from the Atlantic fleet deserted their battlewagons parked in the New York harbor for a visit to the fair grounds while thousands of curious Johns and Janes and their broods took advantage of the free sightseeing aboard their ships.