New York city with an amusement park that’s a National Historic Landmark
Rye, the city, New York, is a city in Westchester County, New York. It is separate from the town of Rye, New York. Rye the city was originally Rye the village until it was given its charter in 1942. Huh?
Now for the easy part – in Rye, the city (got it?) is an amusement park called Playland. Interestingly, it is an amusement park run by Westchester County – one of the very few in the United States. It was started in 1927 under the direction of Frank Darling who had previous experience with Coney Island.
Its most famous ride is the Dragon coaster which was unveiled in 1929. The logo for Playland features the coaster, which is one of the few remaining wooden coasters in the U.S. It has over 3000 feet of track and its tunnel is the body of a dragon which has eyes that light up and bellows smoke from its nostrils.
Playland has been featured in several movies and television episodes including The Muppets Take Manhattan, Big, Fatal Attraction, Mad Men, and How I Met Your Mother.
Medium for Madame Tussaud
Madame Tussauds, a wax musuem, is a major attraction in London as well as many branches in other cities. Marie (nee Grosholtz) Tussaud was born in Strasbourg, France. Her mother was a housekeeper for Dr. Philippe Curtius, a physician, who taught young Marie the art of wax modeling.
In 1777, she created her first sculpture, Voltaire. Other well-known figures of the day that she sculpted were Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Benjamin Franklin. Keeping busy even during the French Revolution, she became famous for her death masks. After the death of Dr. Curtius, she inherited his wax collection and began touring Europe. After marrying Francois Tussaud, the show was renamed, Madame Tussaud’s.
She received an invitation to come to London and worked there for a while with Philidor and then began to tour Great Britain as the political climate in France with the rise of Napoleon was not considered advantageous for her. Eventually she returned to London and settled in Baker Street.
Today Madame Tussauds has branches worldwide, with the most recent one opening this year in Seoul.
1990s Indian P.M.
The tenth Prime Minister of India, Pamulaparti Venkata Narasimha Rao, served as the head of state from 1991 – 1996. His rise to that position was considered significant as he was the first from the non-Hindi speaking southern India. His administration was also significant for his economic reforms, with the dismantling of the Licence Raj, which halted the socialist policies instituted by Rajiv Gandhi. Also, unlike Nehru, he favored a market-driven economy. During his reign, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a right-wing party, gained strength over the Indian National Congress which had enjoyed prominence since the early days of independence.
In addition to his knowledge of the law and politics, he held a variety of interests including literature and computer programming. His knowledge of Sanskrit was vast, and he spoke seventeen languages.