Superman Day – July 3, 1940
In April of 1939 the New York World’s Fair, “Building The World of Tomorrow,” opened on what was once a marshy wasteland in Flushing Meadows, just east of the great metropolis. From its inception to its closing ceremonies, the Fair promoted one of the last great metanarratives of the Machine Age: the unqualified belief in science and technology as a means to economic prosperity and personal freedom. Wedged between the greatest economic disaster in America and the growing international tension that would result in World War II, The World of Tomorrow was a much-needed antidote to the depression and confusion of the times. It provided the one saving grace which all of America needed – it provided hope.
To go along with the theme of “The World of Tomorrow“, DC Comics hosted Superman Day at the fair, featuring the first public appearance of “The Man of Tomorrow“, Superman (Ray Middleton) in full costume and a live Superman radio broadcast from the fairgrounds. In this very first Superman costume, the name “SUPERMAN” is inscribed in the top part of Superman’s chest emblem and Superman’s boots are the original lace style. Superman Day was the brainchild of publicist Allen ‘Duke’ Ducovny, held in part to promote the sales of DC’s New York World’s Fair Comics, a 100-page special edition sold exclusively at the World’s Fair.