The Romance of a People at Chicago’s 1933 World’s Fair

The Romance of a People at Chicago’s 1933 World’s Fair

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On July 3, 1933, Jewish Day was celebrated at the Chicago World’s Fair. The highlight was a spectacular pageant called “The Romance of a People,” produced by Meyer Weisgal of the Zionist Organization of America. The pageant took place in Soldier Field and its attendance made Jewish Day top World’s Fair attendance records against a backdrop of Nazi violence abroad and anti-Semitic sentiment at home.

Listen in as Dr. Lauren Love explores how pageant producers and artists overcame disagreement, creating a spectacle that commemorated Jewish history and boldly asserted a Jewish national future.

Dr. Lauren Love is an assistant professor of communication and theatre arts at the University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County. Her research focuses on the connections between activism and theater. Her essay on “The Romance of a People” was recently published in The Drama Review’s special issue on Jewish American performance.

Recorded Saturday, January 21, 2012 at the Spertus Institute.