Arts | Lectures | Seminars | Gatherings

"The Happiest Place on Earth" a History of American Amusement Parks (Parts 1 and 2)

Fifty and Better FABulous Summer Lecture Series

"The Happiest Place on Earth" a History of American Amusement Parks (Parts 1 and 2)

Modern amusement parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios are icons of late 20th century popular culture, but the history of the "amusement park" stretches back centuries. In these lectures, we'll explore the evolution of public amusement in North America, from the earliest fairs and carnivals to the development of roller coasters and "themed" attractions, as we discover how the impulse for fun and escape deeply shapes the nation's history.

The lectures can be taken independently of each other.

David Parsons, PhD, received his doctorate in History from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). He is a professor and writer whose work focuses on the political, social, and cultural history of 20th century America. He has taught courses in U.S. history at CUNY and New York University, and hosts a long running weekly podcast on history and politics called The Nostalgia Trap. His book “Dangerous Grounds: Antiwar Coffeehouses and Military Dissent in the Vietnam Era” explores links between the civilian peace movement and the American military.

Registration is required. Each independent, 2-hour lecture is $10.

Fifty and Better was designed to offer university-level courses and lectures (no tests, no homework) taught by experts in the field, and to host social engagement activities for people age 50 and older. All two-hour lectures in the FABulous Summer Lecture Series are open to all ages.


Register by June 8 (for Part 1) and 15 (for Part 2)

Sponsored By
Fifty and Better


Christina Tierney