From a lonely carosel ride to a southern vacation destination, the story of Libertyland is as surprising as its legendy roller coasters and as delightful as its memorable characters.
Nestled in the heart of Memphis, Tennessee, the Libertyland theme park debuted on America's bicentennial: July 4, 1976. The quaint park celebrated America's history, heritage, and culture. Not only was it home to Elvis Presley's favorite roller coaster, Libertyland also offered guests rides on the historic Grand Carousel, exciting shows, gift shops selling handcrafted souvenirs, delicious food, and much more. The park's themed areas--Colonial Land, Frontier Land, and Turn-of-the-Century Land--paid tribute to some of the country's most historically significant eras. From its opening in 1976 until its closure in late 2005, Libertyland was a first roller coaster ride, a first date, a family reunion, a summer job, or simply a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the real world.
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About the Author
Images of Modern America: Libertyland is a chronological look at the theme park's life, from blueprints to its razing and beyond. Photographs were gathered from former park employees, guests, historians, Memphis-area libraries, and the Shelby County Archives. Born and raised in Memphis, author John R. Stevenson V rode his first roller coaster at Libertyland and considers his childhood days spent at the park unforgettable. This book is not only a tribute to Libertyland's legacy, but also a history lesson for generations of Memphians to come.
Table of Contents
1 Fairgrounds Amusement Park: 1900-1970 11
2 A Miniature Theme Park: 1971-1975 17
3 A Bicentennial Debut: 1976-1980 31
4 A Roller Coaster Ride: 1981-1995 51
5 End of the Ride: 1996-2005 67
6 Selling, Saving, and Razing: 2006-2010 77
7 Where Are They Now?: 2011-Present 89