Smile: A Picture History of Olympic Park, 1887-1965
In Smile, Alan A. Siegel chronicles the evolution of Olympic Park from a den of hedonism and intoxication in the 1880s into Essex County's most popular family entertainment site in the 1950s and 1960s. Under the fifty-year reign of Newark brewer Henry A. Guenther, millions of men, women, and children passed under the signs Smile and Learn to Play into what the legendary beer baron called a little bit of Coney Island, the circus, an old-fashioned beer garden, and Monte Carlo rolled into one. With its myriad games, attractions, performances, and restaurants, it was impossible to walk away from the park unsatisfied and not wishing for a return. Though the doors to Olympic Park have been closed for thirty years, it will forever reside in the memories of many as a towering monument on the cultural landscape of New Jersey in a simpler, more innocent, and less affluent time.
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