WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following is the daily "Profile America" feature from the U.S. Census Bureau:
TUESDAY, JANUARY 19: ROLLER COASTERS
Profile America — Tuesday, January 19th. Some people call them "scream machines." To most, they're just roller coasters. Whatever you call them, they are among the most enduring and popular attractions at America's amusement parks. The roller coaster was patented by Lamarcus Thompson of Coney Island, New York, this week in 1885. His coaster was 450 feet long, had a 30-foot drop, and moved along at the thrilling speed of six miles an hour. The genesis of roller coasters is thought to be ice slides built around St. Petersburg, Russia, in the 17th century. Today, roller coasters drop several hundred feet, move at high speed and loop and twist to scare their riders out of their wits. There are nearly 600 amusement and theme parks across the U.S., earning nearly $10 billion a year. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, now preparing for the 2010 Census on April 1st.
Sources: Statistical Abstract of the United States 2009, t. 1191, 1188
Profile America is produced by the Public Information Office of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on a monthly CD or on the Internet at http://www.census.gov (look under the "Newsroom" button).
SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau