Tuesday, August 11, 2015
60 Years Ago Today: Nixon at Disneyland
60 years ago today, the Richard Nixon family visited Disneyland for the very first time.
Six years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Nixon's daughter, Julie Nixon Eisenhower, who graciously shared her memories of that day. She had nothing but nice things to say about Walt Disney. “He was so kind; and very approachable. He was also a very nice looking man.” Her father was given the “Key to City Hall” by none other than Davy Crockett (Fess Parker). “I was in heaven, meeting Fess Parker! It was a big deal to be there at Disneyland, especially because of the weekly broadcast that introduced the world to Disneyland with each episode. The characters, the castle...seeing it all in person was fantastic. It was such a joyful place!"
A closeup of the Key to City Hall shows that Walt didn't miss an opportunity to plug one of the Main Street Vendors, Yale Lock Manufacturing.
Here's an August 1955 image of the Yale & Towne Lock shop:
This particular trip was a family reunion for the Ryans (Pat's family) and the Nixons, and Julie enjoyed the company of her 7 male cousins. The family rode the Autopia cars (with 2 secret service men in tow for Vice President Nixon) as well as The Mark Twain, and Mr. Toad’s Wild Adventure.
The rest of today's images show the Nixon family enjoying the attractions in Fantasyland, beginning with Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.
Fess Parker watches as the Nixon girls get loaded into the Dumbo attraction:
Two of the Mad Tea Party:
Julie shared this other tidbit: "My favorite ride was (and still is) the Peter Pan ride.” I can't disagree with her on that one!
More Nixon family at Disneyland on my main website.
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