Monday, January 14, 2008

Yippie “Invasion,” pt. 1

August 6, 1970: It was Yippie Day at Disneyland. Approximately 10,000 flyers were distributed in an attempt to band these Yippies together to make a scene at Disneyland; approximately 100 showed up ( or 200, or maybe 300, depending upon who you talk to).

The caption that accompanied this wire photo was:

HCP080610-8/6/70-ANAHEIM, CALIF: About 300 hippies singing the Mickey Mouse Club song march with the Disneyland Band down the Main Street of the "Magic Kingdom" as part of a "National Yippie Day." Police from several near-by cities were called in and as night fell six had been arrested and the park was being closed.

So much for the Yippies. Disneyland was prepared as was the Anaheim Police Department. Here are some photos from that day; more to come. According to most of the accounts, the Yippies were more of a nuisance than anything else to the 25,000 park guests who WANTED to be there that day. Here they are trying to infiltrate the Disneyland Marching Band while singing the Mickey Mouse Club theme. The Yippie’s shining moment was the “capture” of Tom Sawyer Island. I think I see Spiccoli on top of Castle Rock in this photo. He’s probably still in rehab today.

The caption for this photo:

HCP080701-8/7/70-ANAHEIM, CALIF: Yippies take command of Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland 8/6 forcing the eventual closing of the park. Some 300 long-haired youths invaded the Orange County attraction in celebration of "Yippie Day." 18 youths were arrested during the day and evening.

There were about 18 arrests that resulted from the day’s activity and the park closed 5 hours early. My summation of the day: if you don’t like Disneyland or its philosophies, don’t go. Very simple. Get stoned at home. Most of all, I feel bad for the families who were there who may not have been able to come back on another day. That would stink to have your vacation spoiled like that.

See more vintage Disneyland Yippie photos on my regular website.


Major Pepperidge said...

Wow, I've always wanted to see photos of the yippie invasion. The funny thing is that these "freaks" don't look that freaky. You're right, that's Spiccoli!

It would have been a harmless, semi-funny prank, but I would've been mad if if the park closed 5 hours early when I was there!

Chris Merritt said...

Yeah - it is hard to imagine the shock folks had at the hippies... My in-laws raised my wife in Height-Asbury in the late 60s - I just saw a documentary showing bus loads of "straights" coming on holiday to gawk at them.

Of course, wrecking someones day at Disneyland (or Knott's like the hippies were doing) is pretty sucky.

outsidetheberm said...

Yeah, it forced Knott's to build a wall and charge admission.

Clearly remember this dumb episode. Including the next day drawing 'funny sketches' of the event with fellow grade schoolers. Still have them somewhere... great views of a strange slice of history through a kids eyes.

Anonymous said...

In your first picture, that Disneyland Band member with the saxophone directly under the street lamp on the right was an old musician friend of my Dad's. They'd played together in the army and some Hollywood Bands.

We were at the Park a few days later and I asked him about 'Yippie Day'. He told me it had gotten around that the national promotion of the event (in underground newspapers across the U.S.) was coordinated by the Nixon administration as part of his program to discredit the youth movement.

Not sure if it's true, but that's what the guy said.

If it WAS true, tho... it worked then; still works now, eh?

Richard Chowning said...

I know this was posted some time ago, but doing research for my own blog I cam across this remembrance. I WAS THERE that day. Saw it all: the Anaheim cops waiting outside the main gate, in full riot gear. People threw flowers at them and a couple of them tucked the flowers into their helmets. I remember seeing a couple of Yippies jumping over the turnstyles to gain entrance into the park. Finally, the big confrontation in the circle near the main gate. When the flag sceen took place and the Yippies started chanting Ho Chi Meng, all hell broke loose.

Anonymous said...

I was not only there that day, a buddy of mine and I organized the event. There was no advance publicity outside of a couple of hundred flyers we handed out.

We had nothing to do with the park closing for everyone else. In reality, the police provoked a confrontation, albeit a very minor one and then had the park closed.

If you know anything of YIPPIE! history, this was a prime example of the myth creating a reality.

Anonymous said...

I was there and most of it myth sure pot was smoked people had fun and The cops provoked all that happened.