Believe it or not, the idea of the summer break wasn't invented until very recently. Before kids got the summer off, school basically was the break from months of grueling farm work or any of the other countless horrors we subjected children to before modern labor laws. As people moved out of farming jobs into the cities and modes of transportation out of the cities became cheaper and more efficient, the travel and recreation industry took flight.

By the end of the twentieth century, resort towns, roadside attractions and theme parks were a main staple of the summer vacation and a huge source of money for local economies. Or at least the ones you've heard of were.

On this week's podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by Cracked writers and editors David Christopher Bell and Tom Reimann to discuss the origins of the summer break, how Disneyland was built, and a weird catalogue of failed theme parks lost to history.

Throw on your headphones and click "Play" above, go here to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, or download it here.

If you need some hot new threads for the summer, be sure to check out our new Cracked Podcast MERCH. And for a limited time, get 20% off your order when you use the code CRACKED at checkout.

And if you're in Los Angeles in July, make sure to come to our next live podcast taping. On Saturday July 8th at 7:00pm at the UCB Sunset Theatre, former zoo tour guide and current Cracked Podcast host Alex Schmidt will be joined by Cracked's Daniel O'Brien and Katie Goldin as well as comedians Caitlin Gill, Joey Clift and Matt Kirshen as they discuss snakes, hippos, octopuses and every other animal that could Planet-0f-the-Apes us if they tried. Tickets are only $7 and available HERE

Also, be sure to get caught-up on our Cracked Podcast mini-series 'Looking the Part' co-hosted by Soren Bowie and Daniel O'Brien. Each Friday, Soren and Daniel are taking a deep-dive into the theories and hidden meanings behind movie hair, costumes and make-up. They examine the cryptic psychological reason behind Superman's dueling haircuts, why Ledger's Joker has scars and Leto's Joker has tattoos and a whole lot more.

Check out episode 1 here

Check out episode 2 here

And stay tuned to the Cracked Podcast for episode 3 this Friday.

Footnotes:

Article: Cracked: 8 Amusement Parks That Died Surreal and Bizarre Deaths

Article: Slate: Do Kids Need a Summer Vacation

Article: PBS: Debunking the Myth of Summer Vacation

Article: Smithsonian Magazine: Where Was The Birthplace of the American Vacation

Article: LA Times: How Disney Used Shell Companies To Start Its Magic Kingdom

Article: Disney Parks: Bob Foster and the Founding of a Disney Kingdom

Article: Washington Post: This S.C. roadside attraction is garish, tacky and un-PC - but I stopped anyway

Photo: Six Flags Over Texas: Map With Confederacy Land

Photoset: Weather Channel: You Can Rent This 'Wizard of Oz' Them Park

Article: Cracked: 6 Insane Summer Camps That Will Make You Wish You Were a Kid

Article: Cracked: 5 Disney Park Attractions You Won't Believe Existed

Article: Cracked: 6 Ways Fourth of July Used To Make 'The Purge' Look Tame

Wikipedia: Shania Twain

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