NOLA Life Stories
5:00 am
Tue May 27, 2014

The Bright Side Of An Economic Disaster: Jeanne Nathan Reflects On The 1984 World's Fair

During the 1984 World's Fair, Jeanne Nathan was not only beset on all sides by publicity issues, but she was also pregnant, which naturally added to her stress.
During the 1984 World's Fair, Jeanne Nathan was not only beset on all sides by publicity issues, but she was also pregnant, which naturally added to her stress.
Credit Historic New Orleans Collection

As the Director of Public Relations for the 1984 World's Fair, Jeanne Nathan had her work cut out for her.

The fair not only had to compete with the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, but it was challenged by an oil crash, political conflict, and bad publicity. It remains the only World’s Fair to declare bankruptcy during its run. Despite that, Jeanne feels New Orleans learned invaluable lessons in tourism and marketing that are still used today, but will be the first to admit that handling the Fair’s image was a constant uphill battle. 

NOLA Life Stories is produced in partnership with the Historic New Orleans Collection, for which this story was originally recorded as part of their New Orleans Life Story Project

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