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Amusement Parks

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Tuesday, August 13th. In these final weeks of summer vacation, many children all over the country likely are hoping and imploring their parents to take them to this or that amusement park for some final thrills.

Amusement parks developed around two modern versions of old entertainments — the carousel, which goes back over a millennia to the Byzantine Empire, and the roller coaster, which traces its roots to 17th century Russian ice slides. Our amusement parks blossomed starting late in the 19th century, then began to die off during the Great Depression. Their rebirth came with the opening of Disneyland in 1955, and major theme parks in the 1960's.

There are about 580 theme and amusement parks nationwide, taking in some $13 billion annually in ticket sales, food and souvenirs.

You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at www.census.gov.

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