Home History Piedmont Park’s Cotton States and International Exposition

Piedmont Park’s Cotton States and International Exposition

Atlanta History

In 1895, nearly 800,000 visitors gathered in Piedmont Park for the Cotton States and International Exposition.

President Grover Cleveland presided over the opening of the 100-day event, which was held with the hopes of increasing trade with Latin America and showcasing the region and innovations in agriculture and technology to the world. In preparation, over $2 million was spent in transforming Piedmont Park – including constructing a government building, tropical gardens (today’s Atlanta Botanical Garden) and Lake Clara Meer.

However, what is best remembered today from the exposition is Booker T. Washington’s controversial “Atlanta compromise” speech on racial cooperation.

Caroline Parsley, The 100 Companies

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