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Expect 100,000 to See Pageant at Chicago Fair

July 2, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

History will repeat itself at Soldier Field here on July 29, when the spectacle known as the “Epic of a Nation” will climax the second celebration of Jewish Community Day at a Century of Progress.

Technicians, trained in the mechanics of large-scale theatrical production, are already at work assembling casts, choruses, symphonic groups, costumes and scenic properties.

Last year more than 130,000 persons crowded Soldier Field, breaking all attendance records, to see the “Romance of a People.” According to advance estimates, this year the audience will again exceed the 100,000 mark.


Spectacular effects are to be achieved with special lighting, sound and costuming as well as with the groups of the huge cast and musical organizations in vivid patterns on and around the gigantic stage.

The stage itself will measure 100 feet in diameter, with a brilliant Star of David painted on its surface. On either side of this stage massed choruses in colored costumes will form replicas of the American and Jewish flags.

An extensive sound amplification system will carry the voices of the singers and the actors to all parts of the vast grandstand. This year the entire field will be required as the setting for the show’s action. Organization of the cast of more than 4,500 is a mighty technical problem to which Blake Scott, dramatic director, is devoting his energy.

Mass appeal is the keynote of the spectacle. The “Epic of a Nation” will open in the evening with a pageant of youth, in which 3,000 picked young men and women will present processions, gymnastics, drills and dances, symbolic of the activities of Jewish youth.

Interwoven with the dramatic portions of the program will be the music, an integral part of Jewish history and religion, played by a seventy-five-piece orchestra, supplemented by 1,000 voices and soloists.

Cooperating are more than 1,000 Jewish social, religious and fraternal organizations. The joint sponsors of the spectacle are the People’s Ort Federation and the Kehillah. I. B. Ury is general chairman of the day and Jacob S. Gray is co-chairman. Funds realized through the celebration will be divided among sponsoring organizations and participating groups for charitable and educational purposes.

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