Jeffrey Veregge writes:
“The Comeback” is inspired by the whole theme of the Fair. Originally, Century 21 Expo was scheduled to be a sort of ‘best of the west’ exhibition. However, after the Soviets launched Sputnik, the organizers decided to make it a space-themed show to inspire and ignite America’s passion for the next frontier. Here, I show John Glenn lassoing Sputnik, blending the two concepts.”
An excerpt from the excellent article at HistoryLink.org on the Fair by Alan J. Stein:
“As planning commenced, the commission looked for a theme to build the fair upon. Out of the blue, they received impetus from, of all places, the Soviet Union. On October 4, 1957, Sputnik was launched, giving the Soviets an edge in the “space race.” Fear gripped America, as families worried about their future and their children’s future. How could we compete, unless the coming generations of American children received an adequate science education?
Suddenly science was a hot topic, and the commission picked up on this. On March 15, 1958, Eddie Carlson, Fair publicist Jim Faber, and Century 21 general manager Ewen “Ding” Dingwall (1913-1996) met in Washington, D.C., with many of the nation’s top scientists. All agreed that the Seattle exhibits should show “true” science, and should be portrayed appealingly to eggheads and lay visitors alike.”