disney opening

Opening of Disneyland?

Disneyland opened sixty years ago at 2:30 pm on July 17, 1955. At 4:30, there was a live TV broadcast with Walt Disney officially opening the park with this statement, “To all who come to this happy place: welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past…and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts which have created America … with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”

disney invite

To say things didn’t go smoothly would be an understatement. It was an invitation-only event that expected 11,000 attendees. Thanks to counterfeit tickets, there were 28,000 people there. The huge crowd caused a traffic jam (as if that never happens at any of the parks now!), they ran out of food, and a plumbers’ strike meant that Disney had to choose between working toilets and drinking fountains. (He wisely, IMO, chose toilets over water fountains.) Rides broke down and a gas leak in Fantasyland caused it, Adventureland, and Frontierland to be closed for the afternoon.

disneyland article
Adult admission $1!

The open-to-the-public opening was the next day, Monday July 18, 1955 at 10:00 am. People were already lining up at 2:00 am to visit Main Street USA, Frontierland, Fantasyland, Adventureland, and Tomorrowland (which included the Monsanto Hall of Chemistry). Over a million visitors came during the first seven weeks and it has had over 650 million visitors in the last 60 years.


Threat to Pack the Supreme Court?

President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democratic) was frustrated by US Supreme Court decisions that overturned some important parts of his New Deal legislation. Emboldened by his fourth election as US president in 1936, he introduced a bill to add members to the Supreme Court. The Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937 would have allowed the president to add up to six additional members for each Supreme Court justice that was over the age of 70 years and 6 months.

fdr court packing

The bill was viewed as an attempt to lessen the independence of the Judicial Branch of the government and even though there were Democratic majorities in both the House and the Senate, it did not pass.

It still could be considered a success since the Court stopped invalidating New Deal legislation, including one (Helvering v. Davis) that decided that the Social Security tax was constitutional. Next time you look at the FICA deduction on your pay stub, you’ll know who to thank.