After helping Disneyland open in 1955, Cornelius Vanderbilt Wood Jr. set his sights on designing an amusement park in New York City. On June 19, 1960, Freedomland U.S.A. opened in the Bronx in front of roughly 63,000 guests. Though it closed after just five seasons due to crushing debt, ”The Worlds Largest Entertainment Center” hosted some of the era’s biggest talent, including Chubby Checker, Tony Bennett and Queens resident Louis Armstrong.
Today, the Louis Armstrong House Museum opens up its collection of previously unseen photographs of Satchmo and his integrated band at Freedomland, the current site of Co-op City. The images paint an intimate portrait of the living legend on stage and off during the turbulent early 1960s, when the Civil Rights Movement, Cold War and Vietnam Conflict were growing.
Louis Armstrong House Museum
34-56 107th Street, Corona
Saturday, December 1 (exhibit runs until May 1, 2013)
noon – 5pm | $7 students/seniors/children; $10 adults