Expo Blog

The Expo Blog is a space for posts on the history, themes, legacies and experience of Expos. It includes articles from the BIE and external contributors.


Hadassah St. Hubert is currently a Ph.D. candidate in History and McKnight Doctoral fellow at the University of Miami. Her dissertation focuses on Haiti's participation in World’s Fairs and Expositions in the twentieth century. She serves as the Assistant Editor for Haiti: An Island Luminous, a digital humanities website site created by Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) dedicated entirely to Haitian history and Haitian studies.

Cultivating Tourism in Haiti: The Bicentennial International Exposition of Port-au-Prince, 1949

Cultivating Tourism in Haiti: The Bicentennial International Exposition of Port-au-Prince, 1949

The 1949 Bicentennial International Exposition of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, also known as the “Festival of Peace,” was held during the presidency of Dumarsais Estimé (1946-1950). Sanctioned by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), this International Exposition celebrated the 200th anniversary of the founding of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. It also represented an effort by Dumarsais Estimé’s government to beautify and modernize the capital to encourage tourism and international investment.

The exposition area, known as the Cité de l’Exposition or Cité Dumarsais Estimé, created a new waterfront area for tourists and locals to enjoy. Palm trees lined the principal artery named after former United States president Harry S. Truman (1945-1953). The architecture and visual art in the Cité de l’Exposition featured the work of Haitians and foreigners including Albert Mangonès, August F. Schmiedigen, and Jason Seley. Participants included the United States, France, Italy, Belgium, Spain, San Marino, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Canada, Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina, Guatemala, Chile, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Jamaica. Pan American Airways, Vatican City, the United Nations, and the Organization of American States (OAS) participated in the festivities as well.

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