In 1915 U. S. President Taft selected San Francisco to host the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, a world's fair celebrating the completion of the Panama Canal and the 400th anniversary of Vasco Nunez de Balboa's first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean. The exposition, however, celebrated much more: ten years earlier, residents of San Francisco had suffered a massive earthquake and fire. Many doubted the city could recover from such a disaster, but the Panama-Pacific International Exposition proved otherwise. Visitors to the fair admired a beautiful, vibrant city-far different from what they had anticipated. Officials hailed the fair a tremendous success because it not only revitalized the city's image but also gave a big boost to its economy.