Today in history: First roller coaster in America opens
Today in 1884, the first roller coaster in America opens at Coney Island, in Brooklyn, New York, revolutionizing the history of the American amusement park.
The first roller coaster was designed by American inventor Lamarcus Adna Thompson, who would later be known as the "father of gravity." Thompson was inspired by a trip to the hills in eastern Pennsylvania, where a railroad line that was originally used to transport coal had been converted into a tourist attraction.
The first roller coaster traveled at approximately six miles per hour and cost a nickel to ride.