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Ferris Wheels - Up Into the Sky

A Ferris wheel is a big structure made of steel that stands straight into the sky. Passenger cabins are connected to a moving wheel. The Ferris wheel is also called observation wheel because it takes passengers high up into the sky where they have a great view of the world around them.

The first such observation wheel was built by George Ferris, an American bridge builder. He designed and constructed a big wheel for the Chicago Expositionin1893. His name was used for all the big wheels that were built later.

Ferris’ first wheel was able to carry more than 2000 passengers. It was over 80 meters high and powered by two steam engines. The 37 cabins were able to carry 60 passengers each.

Today, Ferris wheels are big attractions in major cities around the world. Smaller wheels can be found at local fairs, carnivals or theme parks. The world’s biggest Ferris wheel is currently the Singapore Flyer. The wheel reaches 165 meters into the sky and startedrotating in 2008. An even bigger Ferris wheel is being built in Beijing, China. It is planned to reach a height of 208 meters and will start operation some time in 2009.

The biggest observation wheel of the western world is the London Eye. It opened on December 31, 1999 – the last day of the millennium. The wheel takes visitors 135 meters up and gives them a fascinating view of the British capital.

Ferris wheels have played a role in many books and films. Vienna’s Riesenrad may be the star among popular Ferris wheels. The final scene of Graham Greene’s “Third Man” plays there.

London Eye

Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving Day American people get together with their families and friends to give thanks for the past year. It is celebrated with big dinners and special food.

In December, 1620, over 100 pilgrims came to America on the Mayflower and landed at Plymouth Rock. The following winter was very harsh and they didn’t have enough to eat, so more than half of them died. The next year friendly Indians helped them grow corn, barley and other crops . The harvest was good and thegovernor of the colony William Bradford organised a festival to thank God for the food that he had given them.

The first Thanksgiving of 1621 lasted for three days. Men shot ducks , geese and turkeys and caught fish. Ninety Indians came to the colonists and celebrated with them.

As time went on the custom of Thanksgiving spread from Plymouth to other New England colonies, but for many years to come the new country had no national Thanksgiving Day. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln formally proclaimed that Thanksgiving should becelebrated on the last Thursday of November.

In 1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt set the holiday a week earlier. He probably wanted to make the Christmas shopping season a bit longer. Today, the fourth Thursday in November is a holiday all over the United States.

The turkey has become the symbol of Thanksgiving. Roast turkey with cranberry sauce is one of the most popular meals that Americans have.



 

 

 


Date: 2015-12-24; view: 735


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