3 August 1946

Santa Claus Land, the world’s first themed amusement park, opens in Santa Claus, Indiana, United States.

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari
Holiday World Logo.png
Slogan#1 for Family Fun!
LocationSanta Claus, Indiana, United States
Coordinates38°07′08″N 86°54′58″W / 38.119°N 86.916°W / 38.119; -86.916Coordinates: 38°07′08″N 86°54′58″W / 38.119°N 86.916°W / 38.119; -86.916
OwnerKoch Development Corporation[1]
Operated byKoch Development Corporation
General ManagerMatthew Eckert
OpenedAugust 3, 1946 (1946-08-03)
Previous namesSanta Claus Land (1946-83)
Operating seasonApril through October
Visitors per annum1,100,000+ (2010)
Area125 acres (0.51 km2)
Roller coasters5
Water rides2
WebsiteOfficial website

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari (known as Santa Claus Land prior to 1984) is a combination theme park and water park located near Interstate 64 and U.S. 231 in Santa Claus, Indiana, United States. The theme park is divided into four sections that celebrate Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July with rides, live entertainment, games, and attractions. Holiday World is known for its three wooden roller coasters: The Raven, The Legend, and The Voyage, as well as for Thunderbird, a B&M launched Wing Coaster and The Howler. The safari-themed water park includes the world's two longest water coasters: Wildebeest and Guinness World Record Holder Mammoth, numerous family raft rides and water slides, two wave pools, junior-sized wave pool, two children’s-sized water slide areas, a lazy river, two family "tipping bucket".


The Freedom Train, previously called the Santa Claus Land Railroad, operated from 1946 to 2012

Santa Claus Land


Plans for what would become Santa Claus Land, and later Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, were first conceived as a retirement project by Louis J. Koch, a retired industrialist from Evansville, Indiana. In 1941, Koch visited the town of Santa Claus, Indiana. A family man and father of nine children, it bothered him that children traveled to the town only to be disappointed when they discovered Santa Claus was not there. In response, Koch developed the idea for a park where children could have fun and visit Santa year-round. Although initial construction plans were delayed by World War II, construction of Santa Claus Land eventually began on August 4, 1945.[2][3] At this time, Indiana had only one amusement park which was Indiana Beach (at the time called Ideal Beach) that had opened in 1926, 20 years before Santa Claus Land opened.

Opening to 1954

Santa Claus Land opened on August 3, 1946. At no cost, the park offered a Santa, a toy shop, toy displays, a restaurant and themed children's rides, one of which was The Freedom Train. After overcoming doubts about the park's ability for success, Louis Koch's son, William A. "Bill" Koch, Sr., took over as head of Santa Claus Land. In the following years, Bill Koch continued to add to the park, including the first Jeep-Go-Round ever manufactured, a new restaurant and a deer farm which was eventually home to fourteen European white fallow deer.[2][3][4]

Future President Ronald Reagan visited in 1955

1955 to 1975

An aerial view of Santa Claus Land taken around 1957

Beginning in 1955, Santa Claus Land charged admission for the first time; adults were charged 50 cents while children continued to be admitted for free. Despite the new cost of admission, attendance continued to grow with the park. The Pleasureland ride section, which exists today as Rudolph's Reindeer Ranch, debuted in 1955. In the early 1970s, additional children's rides, including Dasher's Seahorses, Comet's Rockets, Blitzen's Airplanes, and Prancer's Merry-Go-Round, were added to this section. From 1959 to 1961, the first live entertainment, the Willie Bartley Water Ski Thrill Show, performed on Lake Rudolph each summer. A Santa Claus Choir composed of local children also performed at the park in 1970 and 1971.[3]

In 1960, Bill Koch married Patricia "Pat" Yellig, the daughter of Jim Yellig, the park's Santa Claus. Bill and Pat Koch would have five children: Will, Kristi, Daniel, Philip, and Natalie.[2]

1976 to 1983

In 1976, Santa Claus Land shifted its focus, along with its entrance, which was moved from State Road 162 to its present location on State Road 245. The park began to focus on the entire family, rather than just children. The park added nine new rides by 1984, eight of which they hoped would appeal to older children and adults alike. Eagle's Flight, Rough Riders, Roundhouse, Virginia Reel, Scarecrow Scrambler, Lewis & Clark Trail, Paul Revere's Midnight Ride and Thunder Bumpers on Chesapeake Bay were all targeted towards families, while Dancer's Thunder Bumpers Junior was built for children who weren't quite ready for the larger version of the ride.[3]

Holiday World

An early photo of Frightful Falls showing what it looked like prior to the construction of The Legend in this area

1984 to 1992

By 1984, the Koch Family had realized the theming possibilities beyond Christmas. Santa Claus Land soon saw the first major expansion in park history with the addition of a Halloween section and a Fourth of July section. With the inclusion of more than just Christmas, Santa Claus Land formally changed its name to Holiday World. In the following years, Frightful Falls and Banshee were added to the Halloween section, Raging Rapids was added to the Fourth of July section in 1990, and Kringle's Kafé restaurant was built in the Christmas section.[2][3]

It was also during this time period that Holiday World saw a change in leadership. Will Koch, the eldest of Bill Koch's children, took over as President of the park. Another of Bill Koch's children, Daniel "Dan" Koch, became chairman of the board.[5]

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

An early photo of The Raven. Bill Koch Sr. is on the left; Will Koch is on the right

1993 to 2005

The addition of Splashin' Safari in 1993 welcomed a new era for the theme park. In its first year of operation, Splashin' Safari operated with Congo River, Crocodile Isle, AmaZOOM and Bamboo Chute. The Wave was added the following year.

The park added the first of its three wooden roller coasters in 1995 with The Raven, built by Custom Coasters International. The Raven was named "Ride of the Year" and was voted as the world's second best wooden roller coaster. In 2000, The Raven was ranked as the #1 wooden roller coaster in the world by Amusement Today magazine. It held the top spot for a total of four years.[3] As of the 2011 awards, The Raven has remained ranked among the top twenty wooden roller coasters in the world.[6]

Over the next four years, the park made only two additions. The first was the addition of Monsoon Lagoon in Splashin' Safari. The second was the replacement of Firecracker with Holidog's FunTown, a children's play area featuring Holidog's Treehouse, The Howler, Doggone Trail and Magic Waters.


In 2000, Custom Coasters International added another wooden roller coaster. The Legend, based on Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", was opened immediately adjacent to The Raven and is taller, longer, and faster than The Raven. The Legend's ranking reached its peak in 2002, when it was voted the fourth best wooden roller coaster in the world.[3] Much like The Raven, The Legend continues to be ranked among the top twenty wooden roller coasters in the world, as of the 2011 awards.[6] In 2000, the park also began offering its guests free unlimited soft drinks, a service which brought international attention to the park.[7] Holiday World was the first park in the world to offer this service to its guests.[2]

For the next five years, the park's additions grew steadily. In 2002, ZOOMbabwe, the world's largest enclosed water slide, was added to Splashin' Safari.[8] In 2003, Splashin' Safari added Zinga on top of The Legend's spiral drop, a ProSlide Tornado, while Holiday World replaced Banshee with Hallowswings and the Hall of Famous Americans wax museum with Liberty Launch. In 2004, the park continued to add onto the water park, adding Jungle Racer and Jungle Jets. Bahari Wave Pool was added in 2005, which marked the beginning of an expansion project that would double the size of Splashin' Safari.[3]

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari received its most sought after award in 2004, when it earned the Applause Award from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. To win the award, awarded every two years, a park must show "foresight, originality and creativity, plus sound business development and profitability." With an attendance of 883,000 that year, Holiday World was the smallest park to ever receive the award.[9]

2006 to 2013

The 2006 season marked the 60th anniversary of Holiday World. The park marked it by adding a brand new section: Thanksgiving. To complement the section, the park added two new rides. The first was Gobbler Getaway, a Sally Corporation interactive dark ride. The anchor attraction was the park's third wooden roller coaster, The Voyage, built by The Gravity Group, successors of Custom Coasters International. The addition of The Voyage gained the park national attention once again, as the roller coaster claimed the record for most air-time of any wooden roller coaster at 24.2 seconds.[10] It is also the second longest wooden roller coaster in the world behind only The Beast at Kings Island. In its first year of operation, The Voyage was awarded the title of "Best New Ride" and #2 wooden roller coaster in the world. From 2007 to 2011, The Voyage was awarded the title of #1 wooden roller coaster in the world by the readers of Amusement Today magazine.[6] Also added in 2006 was Bahari River in Splashin' Safari. It was named the "Best New Waterpark Ride" by Amusement Today magazine.[3][11]

Over the next three years, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari opened several new additions. Bakuli and Kima Bay were added to Splashin' Safari, Turkey Whirl and Plymouth Rock Café were added to the Thanksgiving section, the Star Spangled Carousel replaced Thunder Bumpers on Chesapeake Bay in the Fourth of July section, and Reindeer Games replaced Kids Castle in the Christmas section. In 2009, Holiday World continued to break records by opening the world's tallest water ride, Pilgrims Plunge, in the Thanksgiving section of the park. Pilgrims Plunge deviated from the standard of using a sloped lift hill, instead opting for an open-air elevator system that takes riders to a height of 135 feet (41 m) before dropping them at a forty-five degree angle.[3] Pilgrims Plunge was renamed to Giraffica in 2013 when the boundaries between the Thanksgiving section and the water park were slightly altered.[12]

Splashin' Safari broke another record in 2010, when Wildebeest was opened. When Wildebeest opened, it was the world's longest water coaster at 1,710 feet (520 m) long. It was also among the first water coasters to use linear induction motors, rather than water jets or conveyor belts, to propel riders up hills. Wildebeest was named "Best New Waterpark Ride" in 2010, as well as "Best Waterpark Ride" in 2010, 2011 and 2012.[3][13] The park broke its own record just two years later, in 2012, when Mammoth opened. Mammoth, which was the most expensive ride added to the park until the addition of Thunderbird, is 1,763 feet (537 m) long, making it the longest water coaster in the world.[14]

In February 2010, Holiday World's rival park, Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, Kentucky, announced that it would be closing permanently and ending operations after park operator Six Flags could not reach a lease agreement for the property. Several members of the Koch family later expressed interest into reviving the park in 2012, but later backed out of the deal. This park would eventually reopen under different management in 2014.

The park suffered a sudden loss in June 2010 when President and CEO Will Koch died while swimming at his home. Although the Spencer County coroner listed the official cause of death as drowning, family and park officials believe Koch's type 1 diabetes played a factor in his death. Soon after his death, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari named Will's younger brother Dan as the park's new President.[15] Dan Koch served as the park's President until late 2012, shortly after which the board of directors announced Matt Eckert as the new President. Matt Eckert was previously one of the parks two general managers. Eckert is the first park President not related to the Koch family. Will Koch's widow Lori and their three children retain primary ownership in the park and its parent company, Koch Development Corporation. Dan Koch, along with his sister Natalie, would go on in 2014 to form Koch Family Parks and buy Alabama Splash Adventure, a previously troubled theme park in Bessemer, Alabama.[16]

In recent years, the park has replaced some of its older rides with newer rides. In Holiday World, Blitzen's Airplanes was replaced with Rudolph's Round-Up in 2011 and in 2012 Paul Revere's Midnight Ride was replaced with Sparkler, a 65 feet (20 m) tall Zamperla Vertical Swing ride. Due to limited vertical clearance for Sparkler, the park decided to relocate Star Spangled Carousel to the former location of Paul Revere's Midnight Ride and to place Sparkler in the carousel's place.[17] The following year, Holiday World removed part of Holidog's Treehouse to make room for a new tea cup ride called Kitty's Tea Party. In 2013, the park also removed the only original remaining ride, The Freedom Train, citing maintenance concerns; it was replaced by another train ride which the park named Holidog Express.[18] In Splashin' Safari, Jungle Jets was replaced with Safari Sam's SplashLand in 2011. In 2013, AmaZOOM, Bamboo Chute, Congo River, and Crocodile Isle were removed to make room for a new Splashin' Safari entry plaza; in its place, Hyena Falls and Hyena Springs were added to the north of Giraffica.[3]

2014 and 2015 expansions

On September 6, 2013, Holiday World announced plans for a 2014 expansion totaling $8 million.[19] The highlight of the announcement was a new swinging ship ride called the Mayflower, which is located in the park's Thanksgiving section just to the north of Gobbler Getaway. This ride is the first of a series of rides intended to bring the focus back on the theme park after several years of major additions to the water park. Mayflower has a capacity of 60 riders and swings 54 feet over a pool of water.[20] In addition to Mayflower, the park announced a new restaurant and shop in Splashin' Safari, more cabanas, additional benches and shade structures, parking lot improvements, and the addition of fireworks on Friday nights between June 13 and August 1.[19]

Giraffica closed at the end of the 2013 season and was removed before the start of the 2014 season citing technical problems.[21]

On July 24, 2014, the park announced the construction of Thunderbird, a launched Bolliger & Mabillard Wing Coaster, for the 2015 season, occupying the area north of Hyena Falls and intertwining with The Voyage. This is B&M's first launched coaster (The Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal's Islands of Adventure's launch was created by Universal, not B&M). The coaster reaches speeds up to 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph) in 3.5 seconds and the tallest vertical loop on a Wing Coaster.[22] It is also the park's first major steel roller coaster, as The Raven, The Legend, and The Voyage are all wooden.

Themed areas

Holiday World is divided into four holiday-themed sections: Christmas, Halloween, Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. Each of the sections features rides, games, food and other attractions that follow the theme of that section's respective holiday. The music that plays over the loud speakers in each section is also themed to that section's respective holiday; guests will often notice the music change as they enter a different section. Splashin' Safari, which is connected to the theme park via entrances in the Halloween and Thanksgiving sections, takes the general theme of a safari.


Upon admission to Holiday World, guests immediately enter the Christmas section. The Christmas section is the oldest section of Holiday World, dating back to 1946. It was also the only themed area of the park until 1984. Although devoid of any major rides, there is a small sub-section called Rudolph's Reindeer Ranch which is home to several small children's rides. Notable landmarks in this section include a Santa Claus statue, a Christmas tree, a nativity scene and the Applause fountain, which was added after the park was awarded the IAAPA Applause Award in 2004. The Christmas section of the park also includes one of the park's two air-conditioned restaurants: Kringle's Kafé, which serves standard theme park fare such as pizza, burgers and ice cream. Since the park's opening in 1946, Santa Claus has been available daily throughout the season to chat with children.

Ride Added Location Description
Comet's Rockets 1970s Christmas Children's rocket ride
Dasher's Seahorses 1970s Christmas Children's seahorse ride
Prancer's Merry-Go-Round 1970s Christmas Children's carousel
Reindeer Games 2008 Christmas Three-story family drop ride
Rudolph's Round-Up 2011 Christmas Children's sleigh ride
Dancer's Fish 1970s Christmas Fish-go-round (Bulgy the Whale)


The Halloween section was one of two new holidays added in 1984. Two of the three wooden roller coasters in the park are located here: The Raven and The Legend. The area also has a Goblin Burgers restaurant, which resembles a witch's house, the Frightful Falls log flume that intertwines with The Legend, and the main entrance to Splashin' Safari water park. Apart from the architecture, guests will hear the school bell from The Legend's station ringing ominously throughout the section. It introduced Kitty Claws as its mascot in 2012.

Ride Added Manufacturer Description
Scarecrow Scrambler 1976 Eli Bridge Company Classic scrambler ride
Frightful Falls 1984 Log flume
The Raven 1995 Custom Coasters International Wooden roller coaster themed after Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven"
The Legend 2000 Custom Coasters International Wooden roller coaster themed after Washington Irving's short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
HallowSwings 2003 Zamperla Custom-made Zamperla flying carousel swing ride

Fourth of July

The Fourth of July section was the second of the two holidays that were added in 1984. It introduced George the Eagle as its mascot. This area features more attractions than any of the four sections in the theme park. Landmarks in this section include the Hoosier Celebration Theater, where many live shows are performed; the Good Old Days Picnic Grove, where numerous shelter houses may be rented out for company picnics; and The Alamo restaurant, which serves traditional Mexican food. The Fourth of July section is also home to a sub-section called Holidog's FunTown, a children's play area which is completely encircled by Holidog Express. Keeping with the Fourth of July theme, there is also a monument with several American flags located right across from The Alamo restaurant in the center of the section.

Ride Added Description
Eagles Flight 1976 Flying Scooter
Rough Riders 1976 Bumper cars themed after former President Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders
Lewis & Clark Trail 1978 Gould Manufacturing Tin Lizzie antique car ride
Tippecanoes 1988 Children's canoe ride; originally called Indian River Canoes, but renamed to Tippecanoes in 2016
Raging Rapids in Boulder Canyon 1990 River rapids ride
Liberty Launch 2003 Seven-story S&S Double Shot
Revolution 2005 Dartron Zero Gravity Round Up ride
Star Spangled Carousel 2008 Carousel
Holidog Express 2013 Ridable miniature train ride
Firecracker 2017 Restored Calypso ride; named after the park's now-defunct steel coaster that was replaced by Holidog's Funtown in 1997

Holidog's FunTown

Ride Added Manufacturer Description
Holidog's Treehouse 1999 Three-story play structure; the original was replaced with a new wheelchair accessible play structure in 2017
Just for Pups 1999 Smaller version of Holidog's Treehouse that is designed for small children
The Howler 1999 Zamperla Family steel roller coaster
Doggone Trail 1999 Children's jeep ride
Magic Waters 1999 Spray park area
Kitty's Tea Party 2013 Zamperla Classic tea cup ride


The Thanksgiving section is the newest section of the park, added in 2006 to commemorate Holiday World's 60th anniversary. The anchor attraction of this section is The Voyage which wraps around parts of the midway; guests walk under The Voyage 's brake run upon entering the section through Fourth of July. In the back of the Thanksgiving section is Thunderbird, the wing coaster, and a secondary entrance to Splashin' Safari. In addition to The Voyage and Thunderbird, the Thanksgiving section includes the second of the park's two air-conditioned restaurants: Plymouth Rock Café, which serves typical Thanksgiving food such as turkey, prime rib, stuffing, green beans and bread rolls. Turkeys can often be heard "gobbling" throughout the section as sounds emanate from the Gobbler Getaway ride and Pilgrims' Challenge game.

Ride Added Manufacturer Description
The Voyage 2006 The Gravity Group Wooden roller coaster themed after the voyage the Pilgrims made to America in 1620
Gobbler Getaway 2006 Sally Corporation Interactive dark ride
Turkey Whirl 2007 Sellner Manufacturing Turkey-themed Tilt-A-Whirl
Mayflower 2014 Chance Rides Swinging ship themed after the Mayflower
Thunderbird 2015 Bolliger & Mabillard A launched wing coaster themed around the legendary Thunderbird's flight
Crow's Nest 2012 Zamperla A 65-foot (20 meter) tall vertical swing ride. Originally known as Sparkler when in the Fourth of July section.

Splashin' Safari

Splashin' Safari, the water park Holiday World added in 1993, has consistently ranked among the best water parks in the United States, even being named as the #1 water park in the United States by TripAdvisor in 2011.[23] The water park takes the general theme of a safari, with ride names featuring various animals, rivers and Swahili words. Holiday World has added onto its water park every year from 2002 to 2013. Among those additions are the world's two longest water coasters: Wildebeest and Mammoth, which are also, respectively, the third and first most expensive additions ever made to the park. Unlike a number of other theme parks that necessitate a separate admission fee for the water park, entry to Splashin' Safari is included with admission to Holiday World.

Ride Added Location Description
The Wave 1994 Splashin' Safari Zero-entry-depth wave pool [Maximum depth: 6 feet (1.8 m)]
Butterfly Bay 1994 Splashin' Safari Smaller zero-entry-depth wave pool for children [Maximum depth: 18 inches (46 cm)]
Watubee 1996 Splashin' Safari Open family river rapids ride allowing up to five riders
Otorongo 1997 Splashin' Safari Collection of three intertwining enclosed inline tube slides named "Otto", "Ron", and "Go"
ZOOMbabwe 2002 Splashin' Safari Enclosed family river rapids ride allowing up to four riders
Zinga 2003 Splashin' Safari Eight-story ProSlide Tornado allowing up to four riders
Jungle Racer 2004 Splashin' Safari Five-story ProSlide ProRacer with ten lanes
Bahari Wave Pool 2005 Splashin' Safari Zero-entry-depth wave pool [Maximum depth: 6 feet (1.8 m)] featuring geysers and water jets
Bahari River 2006 Splashin' Safari Lazy river [Depth: 28 inches (71 cm)]
Bakuli 2007 Splashin' Safari ProSlide Behemoth Bowl allowing up to four riders
Kima Bay 2008 Splashin' Safari WhiteWater West AquaPlay RainFortress [Average depth: 18 inches (46 cm)] featuring seven body slides, 125 water jets and a tipping bucket containing 1,200 US gallons (4,500 L) of water
Wildebeest 2010 Splashin' Safari 1,710 feet (520 m) long ProSlide HydroMagnetic Rocket water coaster allowing up to four riders
Safari Sam's SplashLand 2011 Splashin' Safari Children's play area featuring an activity pool [Maximum depth: 18 inches (46 cm)] with interactive water elements and eight open and enclosed body slides
Mammoth 2012 Splashin' Safari 1,763 feet (537 m) long ProSlide HydroMagnetic Mammoth water coaster allowing up to six riders
Hyena Falls 2013 Splashin' Safari Collection of four enclosed inline tube slides, the largest of which includes a half-pipe element
Hyena Springs 2013 Splashin' Safari Children's spray pad play area
Tembo Falls 2018 Splashin' Safari Set of eight smaller water slides designed for younger children
Tembo Tides 2018 Splashin' Safari Small wave pool designed for younger children
Cheetah Chase[24] 2020 Splashin’ Safari Launched dueling water coaster

Defunct rides and attractions

Ride Added Removed Location Description
Jeep-Go-Round 1947 Unknown Christmas Children's jeep ride; it was the first of its kind ever manufactured
Bungee Jump 1992 1992 Halloween Crane-based bungee jump show; temporarily replaced the high dive show
Stormin' Norman's Tank Tag 1992 1996 Fourth of July Series of miniature tanks that up to three guests could ride; replaced by The Alamo
Firecracker 1981 1997 Fourth of July Pinfari Zyklon Z47 steel roller coaster; replaced by Holidog's FunTown
Frontier Farm 1948 1999 Fourth of July Petting zoo with a collection of animals, including baby goats, lambs and 14 reindeer named after Santa Claus's reindeer
Banshee 1986 2002 Halloween Chance Falling Star; replaced by Hallowswings
Hall of Famous Americans 1950s 2002 Fourth of July Wax museum with an emphasis on American Presidents and American History; replaced by Liberty Launch
Roundhouse 1976 2004 Fourth of July Round Up; replaced by Revolution, a larger version of the same ride
Virginia Reel 1976 2005 Fourth of July Tilt-A-Whirl; removed to make room for an additional path to the Thanksgiving section; replaced by Turkey Whirl, a new and relocated version of the same ride
Kids' Castle 1992 2007 Christmas Children's soft play structure, including a slide, trampoline and ball pit; replaced by Reindeer Games
Deer Playground 1992 2007 Christmas Smaller version of Kids' Castle, including a crawl-through train and small ball pit for younger children; replaced by Reindeer Games
Thunder Bumpers on Chesapeake Bay 1980 2007 Fourth of July Bumper boats; replaced by Star Spangled Carousel
Jungle Jets 2004 2010 Splashin' Safari Family spray area, featuring numerous water features; replaced by Safari Sam's SplashLand
Blitzen's Airplanes 1970s 2010 Christmas Children's airplane ride; replaced by Rudolph's Round-Up
Paul Revere's Midnight Ride 1978 2011 Fourth of July Eyerly Spider; replaced by Sparkler, which switched locations with Star Spangled Carousel so that the carousel is now located in Paul Revere's Midnight Ride's old location
Betsy Ross Doll House 1946 2011 Fourth of July Walk-through attraction featuring a collection of antique dolls; originally built in 1856 as the town of Santa Claus' first post office, it was converted into a doll house attraction when Santa Claus Land opened in 1946; the building was moved off-site to be a part of a local museum
AmaZOOM 1993 2012 Splashin' Safari Enclosed inline tube slide allowing single riders only; removed to make room for a new Splashin' Safari entry plaza
Bamboo Chute 1993 2012 Splashin' Safari Inline tube slide with both open and enclosed sections allowing both single and double riders; removed to make room for a new Splashin' Safari entry plaza
Congo River 1993 2012 Splashin' Safari Lazy river; removed to make room for a new Splashin' Safari entry plaza
Crocodile Isle 1993 2012 Splashin' Safari Children's play area featuring two pools connected by two body slides; removed to make room for a new Splashin' Safari entry plaza
The Freedom Train 1946 2012 Fourth of July Ridable miniature train whose engine was a ¼ scale model of a Baltimore and Ohio locomotive; removed due to deterioration and replaced by Holidog Express; engine still preserved on display in the park
Giraffica 2009 2013 Splashin' Safari Intamin shoot the chute ride featuring a 135 feet (41 m) tall open-air elevator; originally called Pilgrims Plunge (2009–2012); removed after the 2013 season due to downtime and reliability.[25]
Dancer's Thunder Bumpers Junior 1982 2013 Christmas Children's bumper boats; replaced by Salmon Run, that was originally in Fourth of July.
Monsoon Lagoon 1998 2018 Splashin' Safari Interactive waterplay complex featuring four body slides and a tipping bucket containing 1,000 US gallons (3,800 L) of water. Removed following the 2019 season on account of its age.[26]

Mascots and characters

Three of Holiday World & Splashin' Safari's mascots. Left to right: George the Eagle, Holidog, Safari Sam

Rather than sign licensed characters for the park, Holiday World has developed several mascots and characters including:

  • Santa Claus– A jolly old man who is the mascot of the Christmas section.
  • Holidog – A brown dog who is the mascot of Holiday World.
  • Safari Sam – A green crocodile who is the mascot of Splashin' Safari.
  • George the Eagle – A bald eagle wearing patriotic clothing who is the mascot of the Fourth of July section.
  • Kitty Claws – A black cat wearing a Halloween-themed tutu, ballet shoes, a bow, and a mini masquerade mask who is the mascot of the Halloween section. Introduced in 2012.


Holiday World & Splashin' Safari offers a variety of live entertainment, including singing, dancing and diving. All shows are performed at least six days per week when the park is in daily operation.

  • Santa's Storytime Theater
    This is a theater where children are invited to sit with Santa Claus on stage as he reads a story and sings Christmas songs. During hot weather, Santa appears in the air-conditioned fudge and coffee shop Mrs. Klaus' Kitchen.
  • Holiday Theater
    This is an indoor theater that is no longer used for shows during he summer hours. During Happy Halloween Weekends, the theater hosts Holidog’s 3D Adventure Maze.
  • Dive!
    Located at the High Dive Theater, "Dive!" is a daily show where divers perform numerous dives detailing the history of diving. Divers dive from various heights, including one from a perch 80 feet (24 m) high into 10 feet (3.0 m) of water. In another portion of the show, a diver nicknamed "Hot Stuff" lights themselves on fire before dancing to the song "Hot Stuff" and diving into the water.
  • Hoosier Celebration Theater
    This theater is an outdoor theater where a number of live shows are performed daily. Shows performed at this theater include Mysterio: Magic Rocks the Night.
  • Holidog's All-Star Theater
    This is a theater located inside of Holidog's FunTown where the show "Holidog's Crazy Science" is performed. The show is geared toward children and features Holidog, Safari Sam, and Kitty Claws (See: Mascots and Characters) singing and dancing to a variety of songs.

Special events

  • Weddings:
    Through the years, Holiday World has been the host of several weddings. Couples have been married on the defunct Bungee Jump, in The Wave wave pool, and in a hot air balloon tethered at the park. In 1995, a dozen couples, who completely filled the ride, were simultaneously married on The Raven. A couple was also married atop the lift hill of The Voyage by an Elvis impersonator in 2008.[27]
  • Golden Ticket Awards:
    Since 1998, Amusement Today magazine has brought dozens of amusement park industry leaders together to honor the best of the best at an annual event called the Golden Ticket Awards. Holiday World has hosted this event three times. Holiday World & Splashin' Safari was the first ever park to host the event in 2000. Holiday World also hosted the awards in 2006 and 2011. The awards ceremony has been hosted in Holiday Theater in the Christmas section.[6]
  • Play Day:
    Every year since 1993, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari has hosted thousands of children with mental and physical disabilities for an event called "Play Day". Play Day is for invited guests of the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center of Southwestern Indiana. The admission price for Play Day is $9, with all proceeds being donated to the Easter Seals. As of 2011, Holiday World has raised over $257,000 for the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center.[28]
  • Walk to Cure Diabetes:
    Every year since 2006, Holiday World has hosted thousands of walkers for the "Holiday World Walk to Cure Diabetes", which is a walk to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). To raise money, Holiday World donates tickets to walkers who have raised money for JDRF. As of 2011, over $1.7 million has been raised for JDRF with the help of Holiday World.[29]
  • HoliWood Nights:
    HoliWood Nights is an event held for card-carrying members of recognized amusement park-related clubs and their registered guests. The event features exclusive ride time (ERT) on the park's three wooden roller coasters, plus a select few other rides, both before park opening and after park closing. The event, which was first known as Stark Raven Mad, was temporarily discontinued in 2003 following a death during the event (See: Incidents). In 2006, the event returned after being renamed HoliWood Nights. The park embraces HoliWood's pun on Hollywood by naming each year's event as a play on the title of a movie. The theme of the 2013 event is "Dig", which is a play on the 1988 movie Big.[30]
  • Rock the World:
    Since 2012, Holiday World has hosted a Christian music festival called Rock the World on a select Saturday in August. Throughout the day, regional contemporary Christian bands perform in the Hoosier Celebration Theater. Once the park closes for the day, a main stage area opens to those with concert tickets. The main stage features a number of nationally known Christian artists and bands who perform well past normal closing hours. (The main stage acts in 2012 were Jeremy Camp, Tenth Avenue North, BarlowGirl and Hearts of Saints).[31]
  • Happy Halloween Weekends:
    Since 2012, Holiday World has remained open in October to hold an event called Happy Halloween Weekends. For the last two weekends in September plus the four weekends in October, the park holds family-friendly, Halloween-themed activities. Some of these seasonal attractions include two corn mazes, hayrides, a 3-D walk-through attraction similar to a family-friendly haunted house and a family activity area geared towards children located in the Good Ol' Days Picnic Grove. The park transforms itself into a solely Halloween-themed park, with Halloween decorations, Halloween-themed shows and special Halloween-themed food items. These attractions are hosted in addition to the park's normal offerings of rides, games and food.[32]


In 2004, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari was presented the Applause Award. To receive this honor, a park must show "foresight, originality and creativity, plus sound business development and profitability." With an attendance of 883,000 that year, Holiday World was the smallest park to ever receive the award. The park celebrated by installing a large replica of the award's trophy as well as commemorative plaques naming other recipients of the award as part of a fountain in the Christmas section.[9]

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari has also received numerous Golden Ticket Awards, which are presented by Amusement Today magazine to the best of the best in the amusement park industry. At 51, Holiday World has received more Golden Ticket Awards than any other amusement park in the world, as of 2016.[33]

Golden Ticket Awards[34]
Award Year Recipient
Friendliest Park 1998–2008, 2010–2011 Entire Park
Cleanest Park 2000–2018 Entire Park
Best Wooden Roller Coaster 2000–2003 The Raven
Best Wooden Roller Coaster 2007–2011 The Voyage
Best New Ride 2006 The Voyage
Best New Waterpark Ride 2006 Bahari River
Best New Waterpark Ride 2007 Bakuli
Best New Waterpark Ride 2010 Wildebeest
Best New Waterpark Ride 2012 Mammoth
Best Waterpark Ride 2003 Zinga
Best Waterpark Ride 2010–2013, 2015–2016 Wildebeest
Publisher's Pick: Park of the Year 2004 Entire Park
Publisher's Pick: Legends Series 2010 Will Koch


The Raven

  • On May 31, 2003, a 32-year-old female from New York City, died after falling out of The Raven roller coaster. The victim was visiting the park to attend "Stark Raven Mad 2003", an event hosting roller coaster enthusiasts from around the country. At approximately 8:00 pm, the victim and her fiancé boarded The Raven in the last row of the train. Following a safety check of her lap bar and seat belt by a ride operator, the train left the station. Multiple witnesses reported that they saw her "virtually standing up" during the ride's initial and subsequent drops. During the ride's 69 feet (21 m) drop, also called the fifth drop, she was ejected from the car and onto the tracks. When the train returned to the station, the victim's fiancé, ride operators and a passenger who was a doctor ran back along the tracks, at which point they found her lying under the structure of the roller coaster at the fifth drop. The doctor, aided by park medical personnel, began CPR until an ambulance arrived. The victim was pronounced dead en route to the hospital.[35]
An investigation following the accident showed that the safety restraints were working properly and that there were no mechanical deficiencies on the roller coaster. Additionally, the victim's seatbelt was found undone when the train returned to the station.[36] A subsequent 2005 lawsuit filed by the family against Holiday World and the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, the manufacturer of the coaster train, was settled out of court in 2007. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.[37][38]

Lawnmowing accident

  • On May 27, 2006, a 20-year-old male park employee from Birdseye, Indiana died after being pinned under the lawn mower he was using. The man was a short lived supervisor for the park's grounds department. The employee was working alone, mowing an area with some inclines outside the east side of the park when the incident occurred, though the park refused to speculate on exactly what might have happened. The man was found by another employee, who was then able to help lift the lawn mower off the victim with the help of other employees. Park emergency medical technicians and Spencer County EMS summoned a medical helicopter from St. Mary's Hospital and Medical Center in Evansville, Indiana, but the employee was pronounced dead before it arrived.[39][40]

The Wave

  • On July 4, 2007, at 11:00 a.m., a 29-year-old female from Fort Wayne, Indiana died after collapsing near the edge of The Wave, falling face-down into two inches of water. Lifeguards immediately responded and pulled her out, then attempted to revive her with help from park medical personnel. Resuscitation attempts continued as the victim was transported by ambulance to Jasper Memorial Hospital, where she died. An autopsy determined the cause of death to be congestive heart failure.[41]

Bahari River

  • On June 20, 2009, a filter pump on Bahari River malfunctioned, sending twenty-four guests and employees to the hospital. At 6:25 pm, the pump, which was turned off at the time, was turned back on. The pump surged, forcing a stronger than usual concentration of liquid bleach and hydrochloric acid into the water. Twenty-four people, including park staff and medical personnel, complained of troubled breathing and nausea. They were given oxygen at the park before being transported to Jasper Memorial Hospital for treatment. All were treated and released that evening. It was later determined that an interlock system designed to prevent chemical feeders from pumping chemicals into the water when the pump was turned off had malfunctioned.[42]

Bomb scare

  • On June 30, 2016, a suspicious unattended backpack was found, causing an evacuation of the entire park.[43][44]


  1. ^ "Koch Development Company". Bloomberg.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Park History". Holiday World. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Timeline". Holiday World. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  4. ^ "Holiblog". Holiday World. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Holiday World's Patriarch". Holiday World. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  6. ^ a b c d "2011 Golden Ticket Awards" (PDF). Amusement Today. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 March 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Free Drinks Wins Award". Holiday World. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  8. ^ "ZOOMbabwe". Holiday World. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  9. ^ a b "IAAPA Applause Award". Holiday World. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  10. ^ "Voyage Brings Spotlight to Holiday World". Holiday World. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  11. ^ "Best New Rides". Holiday World. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  12. ^ "2013 Expansion". Holiday World. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Wildebeest". Holiday World. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  14. ^ "Mammoth". Holiday World. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  15. ^ "Will Koch Drowned". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  16. ^ "Holiday World Names New President". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  17. ^ "Vertical Swing". Holiday World. Archived from the original on 22 November 2011. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  18. ^ "Holidog Express Blog". Holiday World. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  19. ^ a b "2014 Expansion Press Release". Holiday World. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  20. ^ "Holiday World sets sail with Chance". Park World Magazine: 14. October 2013.
  21. ^ "Holiday World & Splashin' Safari Remove Water Ride". TristateHomepage.com. April 25, 2014. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  22. ^ McCleery, Bill (July 24, 2014). "Holiday World takes flight with $22M Thunderbird wing coaster". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  23. ^ "TripAdvisor Rankings". Long Island Press. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  24. ^ Brown, Forrest (7 August 2019). "World's first launched water coaster, Cheetah Chase, coming in 2020". CNN Travel. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  25. ^ http://www.holidayworld.com/holiblog/2014/04/17/wisdom-sir-isaac/
  26. ^ https://www.holidayworld.com/holiblog/2019/06/13/the-bucket-list/
  27. ^ "Elvis, a Coaster and a Wedding". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  28. ^ "Play Day". Holiday World. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  29. ^ "Walk to Cure Diabetes". Holiday World. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  30. ^ "HoliWood Nights". Holiday World. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  31. ^ "Rock the World". Holiday World. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  32. ^ "Happy Halloween Weekends". Holiday World. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  33. ^ "2010 Golden Ticket Awards" (PDF). Amusement Today. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 24, 2011. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  34. ^ "2012 Golden Ticket Awards" (PDF). Amusement Today. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 September 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  35. ^ "Prosecutor's Report" (PDF). Spencer County Prosecutor's Office. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-10-04. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  36. ^ http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/victim-opened-belt-stood-coaster-article-1.664737
  37. ^ "Fellner v. Holiday World Details". Archived from the original on 2011-10-01. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  38. ^ "Fellner v. Holiday World Settles". Archived from the original on 2011-10-01. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  39. ^ "Holiday World Employee Laid to Rest". NBC 14 WFIE. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  40. ^ "Non-ride Related Death at Holiday World". Evansville Courier & Press/Theme Park Review. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  41. ^ "Name Released in Holiday World Death". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  42. ^ "Two dozen treated at Holiday World". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  43. ^ "Holiday World and Spashin' Safari evacuated due to 'suspicious' backpack". FOX 59. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  44. ^ "Suspicious bag forced Holiday World evacuation". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved 1 July 2016.

External links

17 April 1946

The last French troops are withdrawn from occupied Syria.

Crisis Phase July 2, 1919-July 17, 1925:Syrian nationalists, meeting in Damascus on July 2, 1919, called for the independence of the Syrian territory from France. French troops took control of the Syrian territory on September 15, 1919, and General Henri Gouraud was named French High Commissioner for on October 9, 1919. Syrian nationalists rebelled against the French government beginning in December 1919. Syrian nationalists declared Syria’s independence on March 8, 1920, and proclaimed Faisal Hussein as King of Syria on March 11, 1920. During the San Remo Conference held in San Remo, Italy on April 19-26, 1920, the Supreme Council of Allied Powers assigned a mandate over the Syrian territory to the French government. On July 14, 1920, General Henri Gouraud issued a surrender ultimatum to King Faisal Hussein, who shortly surrendered to French authorities. French troops took control of the city of Aleppo on July 23, 1920. French troops commanded by General Mariano Goybet clashed with Syrian rebels commanded by Yusuf al-‘Azma near the town of Maysalun on July 23-24, 1920, resulting in the deaths of some 400 Syrian rebels and 42 French soldiers. French troops took control of the city of Damascus on July 25, 1920. King Faisal Hussein formally relinquished the throne of Syria on July 25, 1920. France established the states of Damascus and Aleppo, along with the autonomous Alawite territory, within the French Mandate of Syria on December 1, 1920. France established the autonomous Druze territory in the southern part of the state of Damascus on May 1, 1921. French troops suppressed a rebellion in the Alawite state led by Shaykh Saleh al-Ali on June 15, 1921. On March 4, 1922, the French government transformed the autonomous Druze territory into the Souaida state. Government police suppressed Syrian nationalist demonstrations in Damascus on April 8-12, 1922, resulting in the deaths of three individuals. France established the Syrian Federation on July 1, 1922, comprising the Damascus state, Aleppo state, and autonomous Alawite territory. Subhi Bay Barakat al-Khalidi was elected president of the Syrian Federation. The League of Nations Council formally approved the French Mandate of Syria on July 24, 1922. General Maxime Weygand was named French High Commissioner for Syria on April 19, 1923. The League of Nations Mandate of Syria and Lebanon under French Administration formally entered into force on September 23, 1923. General Maurice Sarrail was named French High Commissioner for Syria on November 29, 1924. The French government dissolved the Syrian Federation, and combined the states of Damascus and Aleppo to form the State of Syrian on January 1, 1925. The People’s Party, a Syrian nationalist group headed by Abd al-Rahman Shahbandar and Faris al-Khuri, was formally established on June 5, 1925. On July 11, 1925, government police arrested three Druze sheikhs in Damascas and imprisoned the sheikhs in Palmyra in central Syria.

Conflict Phase July 18, 1925-June 1, 1927: Druze tribesmen led by Sultan Pasha el-Attrash rebelled against the French government in the Souaida state beginning on July 18, 1925, and Druze rebels took control of the town of Salkhad on July 20, 1925. Druze rebels ambushed some 160 French-led troops commanded by Captain Gabriel Normand near Al-Kafr on July 21, 1925, resulting in the deaths of some 115 French soldiers. Some 500 Druze rebels and Bedouin tribesmen commanded by Sultan al-Atrash attacked French government troops near the town of Al-Mazra’a on August 2-3, 1925, resulting in the deaths of some 600 French soldiers. Some 600 French troops commanded by Major Kratzert occupied the village of Al-Musayfirah on September 15, 1925. Druze rebels attacked French troops in the village of Al-Musayfirah on September 16-17, 1925, resulting in the deaths of 47 French soldiers and more than 300 Druze rebels. French troops withdrew from the city of Al-Suwayda, the capital of the Jabal al-Druze state, on September 24, 1925. French government troops suppressed a rebellion led by Fawzi al-Qawuqji in Hama in the state of Damascus on October 4-5, 1925, resulting in the deaths of 344 civilians and 76 Syrian rebels. Druze rebels commanded by Hassan al-Kharrat and Nasib al-Bakri attacked French troops and took control of the Damascus on October 18, 1925. French military force bombarded Damascus on October 18-20, 1925, resulting in the deaths of 1,416 civilians and 137 French soldiers. Some 15,000 individuals were displaced as a result of the bombardment of Damascus. The French government declared martial law in Damascus on October 20, 1925. Druze rebels captured Hasbaya on November 9, 1925, but French troops recaptured the city on December 5, 1925. President Subhi Bay Barakat al-Khalidi resigned on December 21, 1925. Henry de Jouvenel was appointed as French High Commissioner for Syria on December 23, 1925. French government troops re-captured Al-Suwayda on April 25, 1926. Ahmad Nami was elected as president of the State of Syria on April 28, 1926. French troops clashed with Druze rebels in the Maydan quarter of Damascus on May 6, 1926, resulting in the deaths of several French soldiers. French military forces bombarded the Maydan quarter of Damascus on May 7-9, 1926, resulting in the deaths of some 500 civilians and 100 Druze rebels. French troops launched a military offensive against Druze rebels in the Ghuta region on July 18-26, 1926, resulting in the deaths of some 1,500 individuals. Auguste Henri Ponsot was appointed as French High Commissioner for Syria in August 1926. French troops suppressed the Druze rebellion on June 1, 1927. Several thousand individuals, including some 2,000 French soldiers and 6,000 Syrian rebels, were killed during the conflict. Some 100,000 individuals were displaced during the conflict.

Post-Conflict Phase June 2, 1927-April 17, 1946: The French government renamed the Souaida state as the Jabal Druze state on June 2, 1927. The National Bloc, an alliance of nationalist groups led by Ibrahim Hannanu and Hashim Atassi, was established in 1928. High Commissioner Auguste Henri Ponsot appointed Taj al-Din al-Hasani as head of state (head of government) of Syria on February 15, 1928. Elections for a 70-member constituent assembly were held on April 10 and April 24, 1928. The Constituent Assembly convened on June 9, 1928, and presented a draft constitution to the Syrian assembly on August 7, 1928. Several parts of the draft constitution were unacceptable to the French government. André François-Poncet, the French High Commissioner, dissolved the Constituent Assembly on May 14, 1930. The French high commissioner promulgated a constitution for the Syrian State on May 22, 1930, which provided for an elected parliament and president. Legislative elections were held on December 20, 1931 and January 4, 1932, and the National Bloc won 17 out of 69 seats in the Syrian Chamber of Deputies. The Syrian Chamber of Deputies elected Mohammed Ali al-Abid as president on June 11, 1932. The Syrian State was renamed the Republic of Syria in July 1932. Damien de Martel was appointed as French High Commissioner for Syria on July 16, 1933. The governments of France and Syria signed the Franco-Syrian Treaty on November 16, 1933, promising French support for an independent Syria within four years. On November 3, 1934, the French high commissioner suspended the Chamber of Deputies in which there was strong opposition to the Franco-Syrian Treaty. Following the closure of the National Bloc office in Damascus and the arrest of two National Bloc leaders by government police, the National Bloc called for a general strike starting on January 20, 1936. Government police killed two demonstrators in Allepo on January 21, 1936. Government troops killed four protesters in Damascus on January 21, 1936. and killed two individuals in a funeral procession in Damascus on January 22, 1936. Government troops killed three demonstrators in Homs on January 22, 1936. Some 40 demonstrators were killed by government troops in Hama on February 6, 1936. Three demonstrators were killed by government troops in Homs on February 8, 1936. Five demonstrators were killed by government police in Dayr al-Zur on February 10, 1936. The French government declared martial law in Damascus on February 10, 1936, and declared martial law in Aleppo, Homs, and Hama on February 12, 1936. Jamil Mardam and Nasil al-Bakri, leaders of the National Bloc, were arrested by government police and deported in February 11, 1936. On March 2, 1936, the French government agreed to negotiations with the National Bloc, which called off the general strike on March 6, 1936. Representatives of the French and Syrian governments signed the French-Syrian Treaty of Friendship and Alliance on September 9, 1936, which provided for the end of the mandate within three years. Legislative elections were held on November 30, 1936. The Syrian Chamber of Deputies elected Hashim al-Atassi of the National Bloc as president on December 21, 1936. On December 26, 1936, the Chamber of Deputies ratified the French-Syrian Treaty of Friendship and Alliance. President Hashim al-Atassi resigned on July 7, 1939. Gabriel Puaux, the French High Commissioner for Syria, suspended the Syrian constitution on July 10, 1939. On the same day, High Commissioner Gabriel Puaux dissolved the Chamber of Deputies and appointed a Council of Commissioners headed by Bahij al-Khatib to administer Syria. The French Mandate of Syria came under the control of “Vichy France” on July 10, 1940. Henri Dentz was appointed as Vichy French High Commissioner for Syria on December 6, 1940. “Free French” troops and British troops liberated Syria from Vichy France on June 14, 1941. Georges Catroux was appointed as General Delegate of “Free France” for Syria on June 24, 1941. General Charles de Gaulle appointed Taj al-Din al-Hasani as president of Syria on September 12, 1941. Georges Catroux, General Delegate General of “Free France” for Syria, declared the independence of the Republic of Syria on September 27, 1941. President Taj al-Din al-Hasani died of a heart attack on January 17, 1943. Georges Catroux, the General Delegate of “Free France” for Syria, restored the constitution of the Republic of Syria on March 25, 1943. Jean Helleu was appointed as the General Delegate of “Free France” for Syria on June 7, 1943. A newly-elected Chamber of Deputies convened and a elected a president on August 17, 1943. Yves Chataigneau was appointed as General Delegate of “Free France” for Syria on November 23, 1943. Etienne Beynet was appointed as General Delegate of “Free France” for Syria on January 23, 1944. On May 17, 1945, French troops landed in Beirut, Lebanon in order to restore French administration over Lebanon and Syria following the end of the Second World War. French troops shelled the Syrian parliament and attempted to arrest Syrian government leaders in Damascus on May 29-31, 1945, resulting in the deaths of some 500 individuals. Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Britain demanded a ceasefire on May 31, 1945. The League of Arab States Council expressed support for Syrian independence on June 6, 1945, and demanded the withdrawal of French troops from Syria on June 8, 1945. The French government agreed to transfer command of the Syrian military to the Republic of Syria on August 1, 1945. The Republic of Syria achieved independence when the last remaining French troops withdrew on April 17, 1946.

2 March 1946

Ho Chi Minh is elected the President of North Vietnam.

H? Chí Minh, 19 May 1890 – 2 September 1969, born Nguy?n Sinh Cung, also known as Nguy?n T?t Thành, Nguy?n Ái Qu?c, Bác H? or simply Bác, was a Vietnamese Communist revolutionary leader who was Chairman and First Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Vietnam. He was also Prime Minister 1945–1955 and President 1945–1969 of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. He was a key figure in the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945 as well as the People’s Army of Vietnam and the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.

H? Chí Minh led the Vi?t Minh independence movement from 1941 onward, establishing the Communist-ruled Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945 and defeating the French Union in 1954 at the battle of ?i?n Biên Ph?. He officially stepped down from power in 1965 due to health problems. After the war, Saigon, the former capital of the Republic of Vietnam, was renamed Ho Chi Minh City.

Any description of H? Chí Minh’s life before he came to power in Vietnam is necessarily fraught with ambiguity. He is known to have used at least 50 :582 and perhaps as many as 200 pseudonyms. Both his place and date of birth are subjects of academic debate since neither is known with certainty. At least four existing official biographies vary on names, dates, places and other hard facts while unofficial biographies vary even more widely.

The 1954 Geneva Accords concluded between France and the Vi?t Minh, allowing the latter’s forces to regroup in the North whilst anti-Communist groups settled in the South. His Democratic Republic of Vietnam relocated to Hanoi and became the government of North Vietnam, a Communist-led one-party state. Following the Geneva Accords, there was to be a 300-day period in which people could freely move between the two regions of Vietnam, later known as South Vietnam and North Vietnam. During the 300 days, Di?m and CIA adviser Colonel Edward Lansdale staged a campaign to convince people to move to South Vietnam. The campaign was particularly focused on Vietnam’s Catholics, who were to provide Di?m’s power base in his later years, with the use of the slogan “God has gone south”. Between 800,000 and 1,000,000 people migrated to the South, mostly Catholics. At the start of 1955, French Indochina was dissolved, leaving Di?m in temporary control of the South.

All the parties at Geneva called for reunification elections, but they could not agree on the details. Recently appointed Vi?t Minh acting foreign minister Pham Van Dong proposed elections under the supervision of “local commissions”. The United States, with the support of Britain and the Associated States of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, suggested United Nations supervision. This plan was rejected by Soviet representative Vyacheslav Molotov, who argued for a commission composed of an equal number of communist and non-communist members, which could determine “important” issues only by unanimous agreement. :89, 91, 97 The negotiators were unable to agree on a date for the elections for reunification. North Vietnam argued that the elections should be held within six months of the ceasefire while the Western allies sought to have no deadline. Molotov proposed June 1955, then later softened this to any time in 1955 and finally July 1956. :610 The Diem government supported reunification elections, but only with effective international supervision, arguing that genuinely free elections were otherwise impossible in the totalitarian North. :107 By the afternoon of 20 July, the remaining outstanding issues were resolved as the parties agreed that the partition line should be at the 17th parallel and the elections for a reunified government should be held in July 1956, two years after the ceasefire. :604 The Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities in Vietnam was only signed by the French and Vi?t Minh military commands, with no participation or consultation of the State of Vietnam. :97 Based on a proposal by Chinese delegation head Zhou Enlai, an International Control Commission chaired by India, with Canada and Poland as members, was placed in charge of supervising the ceasefire. :603 :90,97 Because issues were to be decided unanimously, Poland’s presence in the ICC provided the Communists with effective veto power over supervision of the treaty. :97–98 The unsigned Final Declaration of the Geneva Conference called for reunification elections, which the majority of delegates expected to be supervised by the ICC. The Vi?t Minh never accepted ICC authority over such elections, insisting that the ICC’s “competence was to be limited to the supervision and control of the implementation of the Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities by both parties”. :99 Of the nine nations represented, only the United States and the State of Vietnam refused to accept the declaration. Undersecretary of state Walter Bedell Smith delivered a “unilateral declaration” of the United States position, reiterating: “We shall seek to achieve unity through free elections supervised by the United Nations to ensure that they are conducted fairly”.

14 February 1946

The Bank of England is nationalized.

The Bank of England Act 1946 c 27 is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom which came into force on 14 February 1946. The Act brought all of the stock of the Bank of England into public ownership on the “appointed date” 1 March 1946. This was one of a series of nationalisations by the post-war Labour government led by Clement Attlee.

Britain remained on the gold standard until 1931, when the gold and foreign exchange reserves were transferred to the Treasury; however, they continued to be managed by the Bank.

During the governorship of Montagu Norman, from 1920 to 1944, the Bank made deliberate efforts to move away from commercial banking and become a central bank. In 1946, shortly after the end of Norman’s tenure, the bank was nationalised by the Labour government.

19 December 1946

The First Indochina War starts.

The First Indochina War began in French Indochina on 19 December 1946, and lasted until 20 July 1954. Fighting between French forces and their Vi?t Minh opponents in the south dated from September 1945. The conflict pitted a range of forces, including the French Union’s French Far East Expeditionary Corps, led by France and supported by B?o ??i’s Vietnamese National Army against the Vi?t Minh, led by Ho Chi Minh and the People’s Army of Vietnam led by Võ Nguyên Giáp. Most of the fighting took place in Tonkin in northern Vietnam, although the conflict engulfed the entire country and also extended into the neighboring French Indochina protectorates of Laos and Cambodia.

At the Potsdam Conference in July 1945, the Combined Chiefs of Staff decided that Indochina south of latitude 16° north was to be included in the Southeast Asia Command under British Admiral Mountbatten. Japanese forces located south of that line surrendered to him and those to the north surrendered to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. In September 1945, Chinese forces entered Tonkin, and a small British task force landed at Saigon. The Chinese accepted the Vietnamese government under Ho Chi Minh, then in power in Hanoi. The British refused to do likewise in Saigon, and deferred to the French there from the outset, against the ostensible support of the Vi?t Minh authorities by American OSS representatives. On V-J Day, September 2, Ho Chi Minh had proclaimed in Hanoi the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The DRV ruled as the only civil government in all of Vietnam for a period of about 20 days, after the abdication of Emperor B?o ??i, who had governed under Japanese rule. On 23 September 1945, with the knowledge of the British commander in Saigon, French forces overthrew the local DRV government, and declared French authority restored in Cochinchina. Guerrilla warfare began around Saigon immediately, but the French gradually retook control of the South and North of Indochina. Hô Chi Minh agreed to negotiate the future status of Vietnam, but the talks, held in France, failed to produce a solution. After over one year of latent conflict, all-out war broke out in December 1946 between French and Vi?t Minh forces as Hô and his government went underground. The French tried to stabilize Indochina by reorganizing it as a Federation of Associated States. In 1949, they put former Emperor B?o ??i back in power, as the ruler of a newly established State of Vietnam.

The first few years of the war involved a low-level rural insurgency against the French. In 1949 the conflict turned into a conventional war between two armies equipped with modern weapons supplied by the United States, China and the Soviet Union. French Union forces included colonial troops from the whole former empire Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian, Laotian, Cambodian, and Vietnamese ethnic minorities, French professional troops and units of the French Foreign Legion. The use of metropolitan recruits was forbidden by the government to prevent the war from becoming even more unpopular at home. It was called the “dirty war” by leftists in France.

The strategy of pushing the Vi?t Minh into attacking well-defended bases in remote parts of the country at the end of their logistical trails was validated at the Battle of Nà S?n. However, this base was relatively weak because of a lack of concrete and steel. French efforts were made more difficult due to the limited usefulness of armored tanks in a jungle environment, lack of strong air forces for air cover and carpet bombing, and use of foreign recruits from other French colonies. Võ Nguyên Giáp, however, used efficient and novel tactics of direct fire artillery, convoy ambushes and massed anti-aircraft guns to impede land and air supply deliveries together with a strategy based on recruiting a sizable regular army facilitated by wide popular support, a guerrilla warfare doctrine and instruction developed in China, and the use of simple and reliable war material provided by the Soviet Union. This combination proved fatal for the bases’ defenses, culminating in a decisive French defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu.

At the International Geneva Conference on July 21, 1954, the new socialist French government and the Vi?t Minh made an agreement that was denounced by the State of Vietnam and by the United States, but which effectively gave the Vi?t Minh control of North Vietnam above the 17th parallel. The south continued under B?o ??i. A year later, B?o ??i would be deposed by his prime minister, Ngô ?ình Di?m, creating the Republic of Vietnam. Soon an insurgency, backed by the north, developed against Di?m’s government. The conflict gradually escalated into the Vietnam War/American War also known as the Second Indochina War.

8 September 1946

A referendum abolishes the monarchy in Bulgaria.

A referendum on becoming a republic was held in Bulgaria on 8 September 1946. The result was 95.6% in favour of the change, with voter turnout reported to be 91.7%. Following the referendum, a republican constitution was introduced the following year.

5 July 1946

The bikini first goes on sale after debuting during an outdoor fashion show at the Molitor Pool in Paris, France.

On July 5, 1946, French designer Louis Reard unveils a daring two-piece swimsuit at the Piscine Molitor, a popular swimming pool in Paris. Parisian showgirl Micheline Bernardini modeled the new fashion, which Reard dubbed “bikini,” inspired by a news-making U.S. atomic test that took place off the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean earlier that week.

European women first began wearing two-piece bathing suits that consisted of a halter top and shorts in the 1930s, but only a sliver of the midriff was revealed and the navel was vigilantly covered. In the United States, the modest two-piece made its appearance during World War II, when wartime rationing of fabric saw the removal of the skirt panel and other superfluous material. Meanwhile, in Europe, fortified coastlines and Allied invasions curtailed beach life during the war, and swimsuit development, like everything else non-military, came to a standstill.

In 1946, Western Europeans joyously greeted the first war-free summer in years, and French designers came up with fashions to match the liberated mood of the people. Two French designers, Jacques Heim and Louis Reard, developed competing prototypes of the bikini. Heim called his the “atom” and advertised it as “the world’s smallest bathing suit.” Reard’s swimsuit, which was basically a bra top and two inverted triangles of cloth connected by string, was in fact significantly smaller. Made out of a scant 30 inches of fabric, Reard promoted his creation as “smaller than the world’s smallest bathing suit.” Reard called his creation the bikini, named after the Bikini Atoll.

In planning the debut of his new swimsuit, Reard had trouble finding a professional model who would deign to wear the scandalously skimpy two-piece. So he turned to Micheline Bernardini, an exotic dancer at the Casino de Paris, who had no qualms about appearing nearly nude in public. As an allusion to the headlines that he knew his swimsuit would generate, he printed newspaper type across the suit that Bernardini modeled on July 5 at the Piscine Molitor. The bikini was a hit, especially among men, and Bernardini received some 50,000 fan letters.

Before long, bold young women in bikinis were causing a sensation along the Mediterranean coast. Spain and Italy passed measures prohibiting bikinis on public beaches but later capitulated to the changing times when the swimsuit grew into a mainstay of European beaches in the 1950s. Reard’s business soared, and in advertisements he kept the bikini mystique alive by declaring that a two-piece suit wasn’t a genuine bikini “unless it could be pulled through a wedding ring.”

In prudish America, the bikini was successfully resisted until the early 1960s, when a new emphasis on youthful liberation brought the swimsuit en masse to U.S. beaches. It was immortalized by the pop singer Brian Hyland, who sang “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini” in 1960, by the teenage “beach blanket” movies of Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon, and by the California surfing culture celebrated by rock groups like the Beach Boys. Since then, the popularity of the bikini has only continued to grow.

20 April 1946

The League of Nations officially dissolves, handing over power to the United Nations.

April 20, 1946 – The League of Nations Is Officially Disbanded.
The League of Nations was first formed in 1919. The final version of the Covenant of the League of Nations became Part I of the Treaty of Versailles, but could only begin to function, formally and officially, after the Peace Treaty of Versailles came into effect. Thus, the League of Nations was not officially inaugurated until January, 1920.

The 32 original Members of the League of Nations were also Signatories of the Versailles Treaty. In addition, 13 other States were invited to accede to the Covenant. The League of Nations was open to all other States, providing they fulfilled certain requirements. At its greatest extent, from September 1934 to February 1935, it had 58 members.

The League was the first international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace. Its primary goals, as stated in its Covenant, included preventing wars through collective security and disarmament and settling international disputes through negotiation and arbitration. Other issues in this and related treaties included labor conditions, just treatment of native inhabitants, human and drug trafficking, the arms trade, global health, prisoners of war, and protection of minorities in Europe. At its greatest extent from 28 September 1934 to 23 February 1935, it had 58 members.

The League was marked by notable failures, most glaringly, in preventing the invasion of Manchuria by Japan, the annexation of Ethiopia by Italy, and the onset of World War II. The powerlessness of the League contributed to the alienation from it by the Member States.

It did have a number of successes, however, including cooperative ventures that were transferred to the United Nations.

At the 1943 Tehran Conference, the Allied powers agreed to create a new body to replace the League: the United Nations. Many League bodies, such as the International Labour Organisation, continued to function and eventually became affiliated with the UN. The designers of the structures of the United Nations intended to make it more effective than the League.

The final meeting of the League of Nations took place on April 18, 1946 in Geneva. This session concerned itself with liquidating the League: it transferred assets to the UN, returned reserve funds to the nations that had supplied them, and settled the debts of the League. Robert Cecil, a British lawyer, politician and diplomat and one of the architects of the League of Nations, said:
Let us boldly state that aggression wherever it occurs and however it may be defended, is an international crime, that it is the duty of every peace-loving state to resent it and employ whatever force is necessary to crush it, that the machinery of the Charter, no less than the machinery of the Covenant, is sufficient for this purpose if properly used, and that every well-disposed citizen of every state should be ready to undergo any sacrifice in order to maintain peace … I venture to impress upon my hearers that the great work of peace is resting not only on the narrow interests of our own nations, but even more on those great principles of right and wrong which nations, like individuals, depend.

The League is dead. Long live the United Nations.”

The Assembly passed a resolution that “With effect from the day following the close of the present session of the Assembly, the League of Nations shall cease to exist except for the sole purpose of the liquidation of its affairs as provided in the present resolution.”

17 January 1946

The UN Security Council meets for the first time.

The Security Council held its first session on 17 January 1946 at Church House, Westminster, London. Since its first meeting, the Security Council has taken permanent residence at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. It also travelled to many cities, holding sessions in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1972, in Panama City, Panama, and in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1990.

A representative of each of its members must be present at all times at UN Headquarters so that the Security Council can meet at any time as the need arises.

8 September 1946

95.6% of the voter in Bulgaria vote in favor of abolishing the monarchy.


When Soviet troops arrived in Bulgaria, they were welcomed by the populace as liberators from German occupation. On September 9, 1944, five days after the Soviet declaration of war, a Fatherland Front coalition deposed the temporary government in a bloodless coup. Bulgaria held the earliest and most widespread war crimes trial in postwar Europe; almost 3,000 were executed as war criminals. Bulgaria emerged from the war with no identifiable political structure; the party system had dissolved in 1934, replaced by the pragmatic balancing of political factions in Boris’s royal dictatorship. This condition and the duration of the war in Europe eight months after Bulgaria’s surrender gave the communists ample opportunity to exploit their favorable strategic position in Bulgarian politics.

In a national referendum in September 1946, however, an overwhelming majority voted to abolish the monarchy and proclaim Bulgaria a people’s republic. After two years of postwar turmoil, Bulgarian political and economic life settled into the patterns set out by the new communist constitution ratified in December 1947. Dimitrov argued that previous Bulgarian attempts at parliamentary democracy were disastrous and that only massive social and economic restructuring could ensure stability. By the end of 1947, Bulgaria had followed the other East European states in refusing reconstruction aid from the Marshall Plan and joining the Communist Information Bureau.