Monday, August 17, 2015

Nehru at Disneyland

In November 1961, Prime Minister Nehru and his daughter, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, visited Disneyland with all the fanfare that you would expect when foreign royalty is at the Happiest Place on Earth. Here they are below in a photo from the UCLA Digital Archive pausing aboard the Mark Twain to sip some fruit juice.

Recently, I was contacted by Steve Henderson, who had an amazing story to share about that day:

I happened to see your previous posting about Prime Minister Nehru and Madame Gandhi visiting Disneyland. I just wanted to say that not only was I there, but I was picked by Tommy Walker (Disneyland's Entertainment Director) to present a Disneyland flag to Prime Minister Nehru of India. I was visiting Disneyland with my school that day. I remember there was also a girl, Stephanie Storm, chosen from another school to present the flag with me. Madame Gandhi told me and the other presenter that she wanted to visit Disneyland more than anything else on their trip. She also told us that there were many interesting places and history in India and that we should try to visit one day. Now that I'm retired I just might do that.
Thanks for the memories,
Steve Henderson

A vintage newspaper article from that day, showing Steve:

A photo showing Steve with Prime Minister Nehru, his daughter, and Walt:

I'll bet Khrushchev was jealous.

It's always fantastic to hear from people that were actually there during these historic occasions - many thanks to Steve for sharing!

More vintage & current Disneyland photos/stories at my main website.

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1 comment:

Fifthrider said...

Holy cow. ( Wait, that wasn't supposed to be a pun. ) What a great story! Congrats to Steve for being there for such a memorable and historic occasion. I love these stories about famous historical figures at Disneyland but to hear from someone who was there and front-and-center?! Unreal.