Sultan of Johor spent using his own money for World’s Fair (1939)


By 20th century, San Francisco has become one of major cities in the United States. Located on a bay, it’s strategic location between the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean and Continental North America has attracted trade and migration from Asia Pacific and spur the growth of United States trade with countries that face the Pacific Ocean. Consequently, the city’s infrastructure was further boosted with the construction and completion of two important bridges, the San Francisco –Oakland Bay and Golden Gate.

To commemorate the opening of both bridges, a World’s Fair was held at an artificial island. It was a global event which as this news article here reported, “…stressing the Pacific theme…” implying the increasing importance of San Francisco (and Western United States) as gateway to the Pacific. Interestingly, one of the participants was Johor where the Sultan was willing to spent his own money to showcase his kingdom’s prized possessions. Johor’s presence seemed timely. At that time, British Malaya (Johor included) had become an important source of rubber for American industries particularly in automobile sector.

Article source: The Glasgow Herald , 17 February 1939

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