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.