The Freedomland Timeline

May 1, 1959

Freedomland project announced by William Zeckendorf, president
of the real estate firm of Webb & Knapp, Inc

May 21, 1959

City Planning Commission approves map change to aid Freedomland

May 25, 1959

C.V Wood, Jr. president of Marco Eng. Corp. of LA and General
Manager, Disneyland from 1954 - 56, announces Freedomland project
at news conference. Cost estimated at 16 million dollars.

May 26, 1959

Full description of the Freedomland project as written up in the New
York Times. Cost estimated at 65 million dollars.

June 12, 1959

Estimate board gives full final authorization

July 21, 1959

Freedomland stock is offered to the public

August 12, 1959

R.E. Carpenter, Jr. is elected director

August 26, 1959

Groundbreaking ceremonies begin

March 24, 1960

Six small unfinished buildings are razed by fire

April 29, 1960

Park attractions described in NY Times

May 11, 1960

Bank of NY branch to operate in Freedomland as a model bank of 1850

June 12, 1960

Freedomland, USA nears completion

June 18, 1960

Freedomland, USA is dedicated with 5,000 people in attendance

June 19, 1960

Freedomland, USA officially opens in the Bronx with 25,000 people in

June 19, 1960

Freedomland, USA debuts on the Ed Sullivan show as Disneyland’s equal
on East Coast

June 20, 1960

Freedomland is forced to stop selling tickets because of traffic snarls

June 25, 1960

Ten hurt as stagecoach overturns in Great Plains section of Freedomland;
park denies any involvement in forcing photographer to expose picture of

June 26, 1960

Three victims hospitalized; one with a snapped spine

August 28, 1960

Front office robbed of $28,836 by four armed men making their getaway in
a boat

September 12, 1960

Three held in robbery incident

September 18, 1960

Freedomland reduces amount of open days

September 20, 1960

International Recreation Corp. considers purchasing three NYC hotels
from Zeckendorf Hotels Corp. to provide more working capital

October 5, 1960

Three companies file liens totaling $140,000 against Webb & Knapp

November 11, 1960

Lien filed by Turner Construction Company for $3,648,000

May 24, 1961

Freedomland needs eight million in refinancing to bring the park out of debt.

June 10,1961

International Recreation Corp. approves giving Webb & Knapp total company

June 11, 1961

Freedomland’s second season opens

June 19, 1961

Families and guests of UN delegates attend Freedomland

August 18, 1961

Three jailed for1960 robbery
November 7, 1961 W. Zeckendorf Jr. named Chairman, R. Levy is named President and
G.A.Hamid, Jr. is named Executive VP
March 21, 1962 A.K. Moss named Executive VP and General Manager
May 27, 1962 Freedomland’s third season opens
June 28, 1962 Announce special "family vacation" admission
August 13, 1962 Benny Goodman Orchestra in concert at Freedomland
September 5, 1962 Benjamin Moore sues to void their lease for exhibit space and collect
$150,000 in damages ;also sues for "historical and educational" changes
in parks character to appeal to teens and jazz enthusiasts
September 21, 1962 NYS Supreme Court dismisses suit
Summer, 1963 Addition of bumper cars, a roller coaster and a Last Supper made of wax
April 22, 1964 NY World’s Fair opens

July 1, 1964

Webb & Knapp transfers 60% interest in International Recreation Corp.
and its subsidiary Freedomland, to National Development Corp.

September 14, 1964

Freedomland files for bankruptcy. Sites World’s Fair as loss of patronage.

Copyright ©2000
Susan Friedman