August 16, 2022 – National Roller Coaster Day | National Rum Day

The First Coney Island Roller Coaster Did Not Even Hit Double Digit Speeds!

Welcome to August 16th, 2022 on the National Day Calendar. Today we celebrate the need for speed and the spirit of the islands.

Roller coasters attract adrenaline junkies to amusement parks around the world. These rides are thrilling and sometimes scary. But oddly enough, they were invented to keep people away from drinking and gambling. LaMarcus Adna Thompson built the first roller coaster in Coney Island, New York and it became very popular. The cars were powered only by gravity and sometimes hit top speeds of…6 miles an hour. The ride only cost a nickel, but people would ride it multiple times. A tradition that lives on to this day. On National Roller Coaster Day, take a trip down memory lane or choose something a little more wild.

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.  And in the 1600s when sugar production was booming, life gave the West Indies lots of molasses.  This byproduct mostly went to waste until it was discovered that a delicious spirit could be distilled from it.  Rum was first recorded in Barbados as rumbullion or kill devil and indeed it caused quite a stir.  It is said that British sailors received regular rations of the liquor from the 18th century all the way through 1970.  But when England began heavily taxing the Colonies for their sugar, molasses and rum a rebellion started brewing.  Today this spirit inspires party drinks with umbrellas and on National Rum Day we celebrate with one of life’s best examples of turning lemons into lemonade.

I’m Anna Devere and I’m John McClain filling in for Marlo Anderson.  Thanks for joining us as we Celebrate Every Day.

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