Celebrity Spotting

Expo 67 was the place to see and to be seen.

Written by Mark Collin Reid

Posted June 1, 2017

Among the millions of visitors to Montreal’s world’s fair were a few who stood out.

The royals: Queen Elizabeth, then forty-one years old, arrived in high style on the royal yacht Britannia in July. Dressed in pink floral, the Queen happily toured the site by Minirail. Four months later, her glamorous younger sister, Princess Margaret, dropped in unofficially. Also on the visitors list was Grace Kelly, the Oscar-winning-actor-turned-Monaco princess, who wore a suitably stylish hat.

The presidents: American President Lyndon B. Johnson’s quick visit was briefly interrupted by Vietnam War protesters. French President Charles de Gaulle came by the day after dropping his bombshell “Vivre le Québec libre!” declaration at Montreal’s city hall.

The Kennedys: Widowed American first lady Jackie Kennedy spent two days at Expo, graciously stopping to speak with visitors and journalists. In a separate visit, her popular brother-in-law, New York State Senator Robert F. Kennedy, brought his wife and seven children. A year later he was killed by an assassin’s bullet.

The entertainers: Ed Sullivan hosted two live shows from Expo. One of them featured Diana Ross and the Supremes performing their hit “The Happening.” Also performing at Expo were Marlene Dietrich, Luciano Pavarotti, Sir Lawrence Olivier, Jack Lemmon, Harry Belafonte, Carol Channing, Robert Wagner, and many more.

To learn more about Expo 67 Mission Impossible, go to Expo-67.ca.

This article originally appeared in the June-July 2017 issue of Canada’s History.

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