When the World Came to Campus, 1909

Special Days

One significant feature of the AYP was the special days that were designated to honor towns, states, nationalities, organizations or special interest groups. They were designed to, and did, boost attendance, and offered opportunities for welcoming visiting dignitaries with luncheons and banquets. Many groups held their annual conventions or meetings in Seattle during the AYP and some of the special days were planned in conjunction with these.

Different Days featured different events. On Smith Day, September 2, the fairgrounds were invaded by Smiths, Smythes, Schmitzes and Schmidts, and contests were held to determine the prettiest, handsomest, shortest, tallest, fattest, and thinnest Smiths in attendance. On New England Day, Seattle's New England Club reenacted, in full costume, the landing of the Mayflower, followed by a New England dinner at the Puritan Inn.

One of the most successful days by far was Seattle Day when Seattlites did their city proud. George Beck composed a song for the occasion:

Two hundred thousand people, including me will stay,
Until the day is over, for it's Seattle Day;
So wake and call me early, for we're going to the Fair,
For its Seattle Day, mother, and believe me I'll be there.

At 117,013, attendance might not have quite matched Beck's expectations but it was still the largest single-day attendance of the entire Exposition.

Another notable day was Taft Day, September 30, when the President of the United States visited Seattle and the Fair. His presence was celebrated with a parade and a banquet, and he addressed a crowd of 25,000 at the Amphitheater. Taft even dressed in the costume of the Arctic Brotherhood, an organization for those with Alaskan business interests, who were very involved in supporting and promoting the AYP.

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