The World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition was held in what is now Audubon Park in 1884-1885. This early "world's fair" commemorated the first shipment of cotton from the United States in 1784 and was intended also to celebrate the recovery of the South from the Civil War. Like our second world's fair, the Louisiana World Exposition, held a century later, the Cotton Exposition was a financial failure but a popular success and brought lasting and positive changes to the cityscape: the early expo led to the development of Audubon Park; the 1984 fair triggered the revitalization of the Warehouse District.
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