From 1924 through 1981, Oklahoma City’s Springlake Amusement Park was the premier place for fun for everyone around the state. Park enthusiast Carla Williams Noffsinger mirrors the comments of many of the park’s patrons when she says, “I grew up in Moore. We spent many happy hours there. My cousins would come up in the summer from southeast Oklahoma, and Springlake was at the top of their list of places to go. We always heard bad stories about the Big Dipper, but that was the first ride we would hit. I remember my cousin wetting her pants once on the Tilt-A-Whirl; we laugh about that to this day. Our family considered it good, clean, old-fashioned fun.” For all its goodness, Springlake was flawed, remaining segregated longer than most other businesses during the turbulent struggles of the civil rights era. When the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forced it to integrate, Springlake adapted poorly—rather than open its huge pool to all swimmers, the pool was converted to an aquarium. On Easter 1971, racial tensions sparked a small but fateful riot from which the park never fully recovered.
Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.
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