On this day in 1896, 45,000 people gathered in Revere to celebrate the opening of the first public beach in the nation. In 1895 the newly-created Metropolitan Parks Commission had taken ownership of the longest natural beach in the Boston area. The MPC cleared it of a railway, shanties, and other eyesores and built a broad boulevard, an elegant public bathhouse, shade pavilions, and a bandstand. The new and improved beach was an immediate hit. On some hot summer days, it had more than 250,000 visitors, most of them drawn from Boston's working class and immigrant communities. Among the beach's attractions were some of the first amusement parks in the country. The Cyclone, built in 1927 and in operation for nearly 50 years, was the fastest and largest roller coaster in the world. Revere Beach continues to be a vital attraction due to its easy accessibility.