Exposition internationale du bicentenaire de Port-au-Prince

EXPO Port-au-Prince 1949

Dumarsais Estimé
BIE-class Universal exposition
Category Second category General Exposition
Name L'Exposition Internationale de port au Prince 1949
Motto 200 years Port au Prince
Area 30 hectares (74 acres)
Organized by Dumarsais Estimé
Country Haiti
City Port-au-Prince
Venue Gonave Bay
Bidding October 12, 1948 (1948-10-12)
Awarded December 5, 1948 (1948-12-05)
Opening December 1, 1949 (1949-12-01)
Closure June 8, 1950 (1950-06-08)
Universal expositions
Previous 1939 New York World's Fair in New York City
Next Expo 58 in Brussels
Specialized Expositions
Previous Urbanisme 47 in Paris
Next International Exhibition of Textile in Lille
Specialized Universal Sport Exhibition (1949) in Stockholm and Habitation Rurale in Lyon

The Exposition internationale du bicentenaire de Port-au-Prince was a world's fair held in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 1949 to mark 200 years since Port-au-Prince's foundation.


President Dumarsais Estimé argued in 1948 for an exposition to demonstrate Haitian culture to other countries and encourage tourism and committed $1 million (then almost three-quarters of Haiti's annual budget) to the project.[1]

The fair opened on ground at the Gonave Bay which had been cleared of houses and landscaped with gardens, parks and tall coconut and palm trees[1]


There were two opening ceremonies: the first on December 8, 1949 and the second on February 12, 1950.[2]

During the first ceremony, a telegram from US president Harry S. Truman to Haitian president Dumarsais Estimé was read out, a parade of US soldiers and marines and a US Air Force squadron flew overhead, and the national exhibits and amusement area opened.

During the second ceremony, the international as well as the official pavilions were opened. Displays were on show from Argentina, Cuba, France, Guatemala, Italy, Mexico and Venezuela,[2] with Vatican City providing a chapel.

Art and music

An art competition was held, with Gesner Abelard winning a bronze prize, and Jacques-Enguerrand Gourgue a gold.[3]

Marian Anderson, Alberto Beltran, Frantz Casseus, Celia Cruz, Miles Davis, Issa El Saeih, Dizzy Gillespie, Ernst Lamy, Ti Ro Ro, La Scala singers, members of the Grand National Opera New York, Daniel Santos,[4] Don Shirley[5] and Bebo Valdes[4] all performed during the exposition.


  1. 1 2 Kimberly D. Perle (2008). "Port-au-Prince 1949-1940". In Pelle, Findling. Encyclopedia of World's Fairs and Expositions. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 314. ISBN 978-0-7864-3416-9.
  2. 1 2 Kimberly D. Perle (2008). "Port-au-Prince 1949-1940". In Pelle, Findling. Encyclopedia of World's Fairs and Expositions. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 315. ISBN 978-0-7864-3416-9.
  3. "Jacques-Enguerrand Gourgue | The Electric Gallery - Egallery - Fine Art - The Art Shopping Source". Retrieved 23 July 2012.
  4. 1 2 "Photo: Fête du Bicentenaire - 8 Décembre 1949. | Il était une fois Haiti...(1ère partie). album | Pikliz.com" (in French). Retrieved 23 July 2012.
  5. "Don Shirley - biography". Retrieved 23 June 2012.

External links

Coordinates: 18°32′58″N 72°20′54″W / 18.5494°N 72.3484°W / 18.5494; -72.3484

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