29 January 2008

Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity

Many presidents and foreign dignitaries have visited the various Disney properties throughout the years. In fact, at the Hall of Presidents, in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, the entire presidential lineage is available for viewing a multitude of times every day. While Lincoln, in his animatronic form, may have been seen more times at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, former President Richard Nixon has been in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World for poignant moments in Disney, as well as World, History.

On June 14th, 1959 then Vice-President Nixon, along with his family, dedicated the first Alweg Monorail at Disneyland. Though the first trip was a hijacking of sorts, Nixon, Walt Disney, and Nixon’s family were ferried around the .8 mile loop without any Secret Service aboard, and the scissors seemed determine not to cut through the ribbon at the opening ceremony, the future seemed bright for this attraction and Richard Nixon himself.

While in office, as President, Richard Nixon came under severe fire. The now immortal words, “I am not a crook,” offered by Nixon to the nation came from a speech he gave at Walt Disney World’s Contemporary Resort on November 17th, 1973. Though this had little to do with Walt Disney World itself, it did play an important role in the history of our nation.

Then, in May of 1982, a little over four months before EPCOT Center was to open, Nixon visited the property to see the work of tomorrow. This is almost poetic in a way, since he had been there at the dedication of the highway in the sky. After the visit Walt Disney CEO Card Walker received a note from Nixon stating, “I can't find the superlatives adequate to describe Walt Disney World and the upcoming Epcot Center project.”

While his politics, even in this day in age, may be questionable, President Nixon has left an indelible footprint on Disney property. It is enough to make one stop and wonder, no matter where you may be in the park, who else had tread in your very same footsteps, and what might they have to offer the world.

1 comment:

Greg said...

What I find intersting about the monorail dedication, apart from the scissors not working (I bet that never happened again) was how Nixon corrected Walt Disney. At one point Uncle Walt said, "Mr. Nixon" and you could hear Nixon correct him saying (almost under his breath) "Vice-President". I just thought, "Dick, you just couldn't let it go could you." Good post.