Program Lists UB Events Marking Pan-Am Centennial

By Jennifer Lewandowski

Release Date: June 8, 2001

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Free lectures on hygienic cookery. Demonstrations in wireless telegraphy. Visits to heaven and hell for 25 cents, with a trip to the moon at half price. Moving pictures or ostrich-watching, a dime apiece.

Not surreal enough? How about water sports on the midway, with plunging elks, horses and hounds -- and a realistic wild boar chase?

Just as the Pan-American Exposition brought its patrons daily programs to keep them current on activities and exhibits -- the aforementioned activities took place on Oct. 19, 1901 -- so, too, is the University at Buffalo, which has published a souvenir program marking "UB Pan-Am 2001 Days."

Modeled after the original format -- a new program was circulated every day from May 1 to Nov. 2, 1901 -- the brochure listing UB events marking the centennial of the Pan-American Exposition boasts a similar red cover, with advertisements, illustrations and quotes taken from 1901 publications.

But unlike the programs of 1901, these won't cost you a dime -- or, as was the case in 1901, a nickel.

The "Official Daily Program of the University at Buffalo Pan-American Exposition Celebration," the first available to the public, and one of several slated for publication, offers a free, comprehensive look at events in and around the university community from now through November.

Michele Gallant, special projects assistant in the College of Arts and Sciences who is coordinating the publication, says she hopes that like the 1901 programs, UB's souvenir edition will become a collector's item.

The booklet notes that UB in 1901 -- then a private institution -- played an integral role in the Pan-Am, from having its own "University of Buffalo" theme day, to its football team providing plenty of winning entertainment in the exposition stadium, and its medical-school faculty tending to President William McKinley after he was shot Sept. 6.

Among the highlighted events listed in "UB Pan-Am 2001 Days:"

o "Tangible Memories: Souvenirs of Buffalo's Pan-American Exposition," Aug. 1 through Sept. 30, Center for the Arts, UB North (Amherst) Campus. More than 60 collectors will display their Pan-Am memorabilia in the UB Art Gallery on the first floor of the Center for the Arts.

o "2001 Wheelmen National Meet," Aug. 11, old UB stadium, North Campus. The League of American Wheelmen, the only group at the Pan-Am returning for the centennial, will convene in the stadium for a parade and demonstration of bicycle history.

o "The Importance of Being Oscar," Aug. 22, Center for the Arts. Vincent O'Neill, chair of the UB Department of Theatre and Dance, and founder and artistic director of the Irish Classical Theater Company, will spotlight, in a dramatic reading, the life and work of 19th-century poet and playwright Oscar Wilde, whose cultural crusade largely foreshadowed the Pan-Am's integration of architecture, art and the natural landscape.

o "Pan-Amania Celebration -- The Light Continues!" Sept. 22-23, Center for the Arts. Pan-Am collectors will be on hand to conduct an "Antiques Roadshow"-like assessment of the public's Pan-Am artifact stash. Enthusiasts are invited to partake in the toys and games of 1901, live music, food, a 3D virtual tour of the Pan-Am grounds and buildings, and much more.

The free brochures can be obtained at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, the Buffalo Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, all in Buffalo; the Center for the Arts at UB, and the Pedaling History Bicycle Museum in Orchard Park.

For more information on Pan-Am-related events and history, visit the university-specific Web site at http://ubpanam.buffalo.edu or the general Pan-Am 2001 site at http://www.panam2001.org.