A China Eastern Airlines jetliner emblazoned with flashy colors and the not-so-flashy “Better City, Better Life” slogan of the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai made its maiden voyage yesterday. Here are some photos of it arriving in Tokyo.
We have a confession to make: Before moving to Shanghai, we had no idea that World Expos (also known as World Fairs) still took place. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that we are American and, thus, generally unaware of what goes on in the world beyond the tri-state area. If you are looking to brush up on your World Expo knowledge, there’s quite a bit of info here. You may also enjoy this list of world’s fairs since the 1750s. And then there is this list of world expositions (the big ones sanctioned by the Bureau of International Expositions — Shanghai falls into this category). Here’s the official site of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
The most recent World Expo was in Aichi, Japan in 2005. Hanover, Germany, played host to the 2000 Expo.
 Perhaps this explains our World Expo ignorance: The United States hasn’t held one since 1984, when New Orleans was home to the third-consecutive US-based World Expo (Spokane, Washington in 1974 and Knoxville, Tennessee in 1982). Actually, from 1962 to 1982, cities in the United States played host to six of eight World Expos. And we have the Seattle Space Needle to show for it.