One of the most popular exhibits at the New York World’s Fair in 1939 — seventy-five years ago — introduced Americans to the marvel of broadcast TV at the RCA Pavilion.
There, young hosts known as “Miss Television” interviewed visitors on camera.
Phyllis Jeanne Creore, then in her 20s, beat out dozens of other applicants to get the novel job before anyone else.
“I was the first ‘Miss Television,’” said Creore, who is now 98 and lives in an apartment on East 96th Street where she gets around with the help of a walker. The TV exhibit proved so popular that three other women were hired on. “I couldn’t work at nine in the morning at the fair until midnight,” she said.
Her performance as “Miss Television” was the first of many breakthroughs in a well-rounded career.
The high mark may have been during World War II, when she pitched a radio show to NBC that would be broadcast to homesick troops. The “Canteen Girl,” as she was known, would croon requests and encourage soldiers to send letters. To this day, veterans speak talk of how hearing her voice helped lessen their longings for home and family.
In an interview on Monday, Creore, whose married name is Westermann, recalled the excitement of working at the fair at the RCA Pavilion.
“I loved it all. It was really enjoyable,” she said. “It was the kind of job where you forget to go for your pay, because you have so much fun.”
The city is holding a World’s Fair Festival on May 18 in Flushing Meadows Park to mark the 75th anniversary of the 1939 fair and the 50th anniversary of the 1964 fair.