centennial | KALW

centennial

If you’ve driven across the Bay Bridge this month you probably noticed the banner above the Treasure Island Tunnel that says “Armenian Genocide 1915.” It's been just over a century since the Ottoman Empire began to systematically kill what would eventually be 1.5 million Armenians. Waves of refugees immigrated to the Bay Area, fleeing the killings. Today, tens of thousands of people of Armenian descent live here.

Michael Zelner

It’s Thursday, and do you know what you’re doing this weekend? If you don’t, fear not: I’ve got a list of go-to events that are open to everyone.

 

Imagine a tower more than 40 stories high, sparkling as the sun catches a hundred thousand pieces of colorful cut glass. Imagine this tower at night, lit by dozens of spotlights as its gown of glass shimmies in the wind for a gaping audience beneath -- an audience that was only just starting to have access to electricity. Imagine the promise this vision held, the way it pointed your city towards the future.

San Francisco’s merchant and civic leaders poured their hearts into the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition, or PPIE. This world’s fair was ostensibly celebrating the recent completion of the Panama Canal -- but really, this was the city’s chance to show the world that it was back.