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Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011 - Motion to Proceed

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Madam President, this Saturday marks the 50-year anniversary of Seattle's World's Fair. The fair was a presentation of what the world would be like in the 21st century. The Space Needle was built and it gave us an iconic symbol that still lasts and defines our skyline today.

More than 9 million people visited that World's Fair in 1962. Elvis Presley stopped by during the filming of a movie, because the movie was called ``It All Happened at the World's Fair.'' All the visitors to the fair saw a very futuristic rendition of what boundless energy and innovative spirit in America would be all about.

President Kennedy opened the fair, highlighting the innovations of science and technology. He said, ``These accomplishments are a bridge which will carry us confidently toward the 21st century.'' Indeed, the World's Fair was a bridge toward the 21st century, especially for our Washington State economy.

The fair foreshadowed the Puget Sound and the entire State as a region that would look to innovation and entrepreneurship. It gave the public a glimpse of what life would be like in the 21st century. And in the years following the fair, Washington State was home to many of the innovations and technologies that revolutionized the way we live and work.

In 1962, Seattle was home to the first satellite transmissions of telephone calls and television broadcasts. That same year, the Seattle Times declared, ``Boeing Is In Space Age to Stay.'' The rest of the changes that we have continued to see have led to many things, including Boeing's 787 Dreamliner--a true 21st century plane.

Also, it helped in setting a tone. Bill Gates took his company from his parents' house to a global headquarters in Redmond, WA. The Microsoft Company was founded in 1975. After the opening of its first store in Seattle in 1983, Costco became the first company ever to go from zero to $3 billion in sales in just under 6 years. Amazon revolutionized the way people shop online and it is a company that has continued to make innovations.

Today many other companies in Washington State--producing everything from composites for airplanes to lean manufacturing to mobile apps software to clean energy technology--are continuing to innovate because of Washington State's reputation for making sure we have a talented workforce.

So 50 years ago, the World's Fair, and what was announced there, made sure the United States was poised for bigger things to come. Some of the predictions we saw about life in the 21st century may not have come true yet, things such as flying cars--although I recently saw an article about flying cars, so maybe they weren't too far off--but other things were just as they predicted, such as that one day we would be able to have a telephone in our pocket.

Fifty years later, we can look back and see a glimpse of the 21st century in the exhibitions and booths that were at the fair, but we also see how fast the future can come and what we need to do to keep moving forward, not just in Washington State but around the country, in an innovation economy.

I thank the Chair. I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.


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