On this Day June 16
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1884 – The first roller coaster in America opens along the boardwalk at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York, and is called a “switchback railway.” It was the brainchild of inventor-businessman LaMarcus Adna Thompson, traveled approximately six miles per hour and cost a nickel to ride.
1903 – Entrepreneur Henry Ford incorporates the Ford Motor Company. With a dozen investors and a thousand shares, the company spends almost all of its $28,000 cash investment by the time it sells the first Ford Model A on July 23, 1903. By that October, Ford Motor Company had made a profit of $37,000.
1963 – Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman to venture into space, traveling aboard the Soviet spacecraft Vostok 6. She orbits Earth 48 times over three days and is hailed as a national hero upon her return, receiving the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star Medal. While Tereshkova has since traveled the world to promote science, she never flew in space again.
1980 – “The Blues Brothers,” starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, premieres in Chicago, where most of the movie takes place and was filmed. Directed by John Landis, the cult classic is based on characters from NBC’s “Saturday Night Live (SNL).”