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  1. #1

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    47 years ago today at Disneyland - International Incident

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-m...ninav-business
    TIMES PAST

    1959: Khrushchev Turned Down for Trip to Disneyland


    September 19, 2006

    Sept. 19, 1959: When Nikita Khrushchev visited Los Angeles, "Hollywood extended a star-studded hand of welcome" to the Soviet leader, The Times reported.

    "A select audience of 405 Southlanders, including scores upon scores of top film personalities, filled the Cafe de Paris commissary at 20th Century-Fox Studio" to hear Khrushchev speak, the newspaper said.

    They "listened in astonishment as the pudgy premier alternated between quips and vehemence, disappointment and apologies, in a 45-minute address replete with arm waving."

    "Live as you like under capitalism may God help you," he told them, according to The Times. "We still have a long way to go to catch up, but we'll do it and surpass America."

    Khrushchev also expressed "almost little-boy disappointment" because his visit did not include a trip to Disneyland, in part because prior arrangements had not been made for security there.

    "Is there some kind of cholera or launching pad out there?" he snapped.

  2. #2

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    Re: 47 years ago today at Disneyland - International Incident

    Woah, i never noticed that today was the day?! Thank you for posting.

    Didn't Walt tell him that his submarines were the Disneyland fleet? Lol.

  3. #3

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    Re: 47 years ago today at Disneyland - International Incident

    This story has often been skewed to make it seem as if his admission was denied by Disneyland itself.

    If I remember the fact about the subs was that it was mentioned that Disney had the 6th(?) largest sub fleet in the world at that time.

  4. #4

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    Re: 47 years ago today at Disneyland - International Incident

    "We will bury you" (pounds shoe on the desk).

    If you ever see a copy of the Bob Hope book "I Owe Russia $1200", he claims to have been the one to suggest the idea to Krushchev in the first place. Maybe if he had gone, we'd have started on detente a lot earlier. It's a small world, after all.

  5. #5

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    Re: 47 years ago today at Disneyland - International Incident

    Interesting piece. Thanks for the info. Much appreciated.

  6. #6

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    Re: 47 years ago today at Disneyland - International Incident

    Yep. It was not Disneyland that denied him.

    More on the incident at Snopes:

    http://www.snopes.com/disney/parks/nikita.htm

    It really was a huge, huge story at the time. And that story often got distorted or exaggerated over time.

    Even Disneyland historian Tim O'Day's version (blaming the Orange County Sheriff) is slightly different:

    Box Office Mojo: When communist dictator Nikita Khrushchev, head of the Soviet Union, came to Los Angeles, he threw a tantrum at being told by officials he could not visit Disneyland. Is it true that Walt Disney refused Khrushchev admission?

    O'Day: Actually, Walt was very excited to have Nikita Khrushchev at Disneyland and his wife, Lillian, was most excited to meet Khrushchev. It was September of 1959, and it was the first time a Soviet premier had ever visited the United States of America. It was a big, big deal. Khrushchev inquired about what his family was doing while he was supposed to be visiting a housing project, and, when he was told they were visiting Disneyland, he said he wanted to go, too. The State Department said no after the Orange County sheriff refused to guarantee his safety and, to placate him, they took him to the 20th Century Fox studio lot, where they put on this wonderful luncheon. Bob Hope was there and they did the "Can-Can" [with Shirley MacLaine and Juliet Prowse, who were shooting the movie of the same name], which Khrushchev thought was disgraceful, and he got up and said "I still want to go to Disneyland!" Walt was most proud of the fact that he wanted to point to Disneyland's submarine fleet but he never got to do that.
    But it really was the major item on the news across the nation back then. It was the lead story on most TV newscasts and front page on most papers. And all the talk-show hosts did gags based upon it for days. I bet Walt was just lovin' it!

  7. #7

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    Re: 47 years ago today at Disneyland - International Incident

    Oh Nikita you will never know
    Anything about my home...

    (With apologies to Elton John)
    Please visit my Big Thunder/Disney Inspired Model Railroad


    Dream big. Do what you love.

  8. #8

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    Re: 47 years ago today at Disneyland - International Incident

    That's great free publicity. Disney's California Adventure needs something like that!

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    Re: 47 years ago today at Disneyland - International Incident

    Quote Originally Posted by Lore View Post
    That's great free publicity. Disney's California Adventure needs something like that!
    You mean something along the lines of Russian President Vladimir Putin screaming:

    "No! No! Not California Adventure! Please! Take me to the La Brea Tar Pits! Anything but California Adventure! And you Americans call yourselves the most 'compassionate nation' in the world??!!"


  10. #10

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    Re: 47 years ago today at Disneyland - International Incident

    Quote Originally Posted by Opus1guy View Post
    You mean something along the lines of Russian President Vladimir Putin screaming:

    "No! No! Not California Adventure! Please! Take me to the La Brea Tar Pits! Anything but California Adventure! And you Americans call yourselves the most 'compassionate nation' in the world??!!"

    Micechatter #5053 Looking for our new home in the WDW area! We need to get closer to our "Laughing Place"!























  11. #11

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    Re: 47 years ago today at Disneyland - International Incident

    Quote Originally Posted by Lore View Post
    That's great free publicity. Disney's California Adventure needs something like that!
    The only trouble is once they got Putin into DCA, he'd be screamin' "I want to go to Disneyland!!"
    Charlie
    MiceChat User #1037


  12. #12

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    Re: 47 years ago today at Disneyland - International Incident

    Quote Originally Posted by BigThunder View Post
    Oh Nikita you will never know
    Anything about my home...

    (With apologies to Elton John)
    Haha.

    Yeah...history is amazing...and just goes to show how great Disneyland is.

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