June 13th, 2024
The first official roller coaster opened on this day in 1884 at Coney Island amusement park in Brooklyn, NY. It was built and patented by La Marcus Thompson and was called the "Gravity Pleasure Switchback Railway." The coaster boasted two parallel 600-foot tracks that descended from 50 feet. The cars traveled at six miles per hour. Today's roller coasters drop from hundreds of feet and the two fastest coasters in the world, Formula Rosso in the United Arab Emirates and Kingda Ka in the United States, clock 149 and 129 miles per hour respectively.