1941 Worldcon Site Selection

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Site Selection for the 1941 Worldcon was conducted at Chicon I, the 1940 Worldcon. The process was still very rudimentary and the bidders were not really yet organized into bids. The decision was probably made by a show of hands at some point during the convention -- the entire process is somewhat mysterious! (Apparently they didn't know that eighty years later fan historians would be trying to piece together what happened.)

One version pieced together from various reports goes:

There apparently were two somewhat "formal" bidders: Denver in 1941 (which won the right to host the 1941 Worldcon as Denvention I) and a New York in 1941 bid about which we know little except that they did not lose gracefully. Additionally, there were fans from Chicago who wanted to do it again, and fans from Cleveland who were interested.

The New York in 1941 bidders planned to hold the convention in Newark. They felt that Denver was too far away and decided to hold their convention anyway. There was much feuding in the fan press, which ended only after Ray Palmer, SF editor for Ziff Davis through his support behind Denver.

But Don Thompson in his short history of Denver Fandom says:

Apparently, according to all extant versions of the story, the Denver bid was totally unplanned. At the afternoon business session on the second day of Chicon, the subject of discussion was the site of the next year's con. New York, Cleveland, and Chicago groups made bids. Los Angeles and Philadelphia groups were asked to bid but sensibly declined. Martin was observing the proceedings with minimal interest when to his astonishment the revered leader, Olon Wiggins, rose to his feet and offered Denver as a compromise. The compromise of course was accepted, and the pair returned to Denver to start making plans.

Erle Korshak's fanzine Putting My Two Cents In reportedly went in to detail about 1941 site selection.

Don C. Thompson's history of Denver fandom "Ah, Wilderness" reports on the events, also.


1940 Worldcon Site Selection 1942 Search: Fanac, Fan, Pro, SFE, Wikipedia, Reasonator 1941

Also involved:

This is page about convention bidding, the competition and its outcome. Please extend it by adding information about who was bidding, and how the race went.