Thursday, August 12, 2010

Gwyn Oak Amusement Park. Some great memories. And some incredible history of 'Civil Rights' as well.

"Despite its longevity, changing times had serious consequences for Gwynn Oak. In 1963, the park resisted integration, and received national press (including an article in Time magazine) after nearly 400 whites and blacks, among them Protestant, Catholic and Jewish religious leaders, marched on Gwynn Oak on July 4 to protest the “whites only” policy, a scene rendered (with much poetic license) in John Waters’ film “Hairspray.” Nearly 300 protesters were arrested and taken by school bus to the Woodlawn Police Station. Eventually the park integrated, but low attendance, financial problems and general neglect ailed it, and damage from Tropical Storm Agnes finally sealed its fate. Gwynn Oak closed in 1973, ending the history of the longest operating amusement park in Baltimore."

Here's a scene from "Hairspray", which I read deals with the Gwyn Oak Park protesting, and the whole Civil Rights movement. I haven't seen this film. Actually, I don't really want to. But I may check it out.

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