Riding in the very first sled down Disneyland's Matterhorn in June 1959, were Walt Disney, his wife Lilly, their daughters ... and
U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon.
The real Pocahontas (along with her husband John Rolfe and infant son Thomas)
arrive in London, England. Sir Thomas Dale, an English naval commander and deputy-governor of
the Virginia Colony, has voyaged from the New World along with Pocahontas (and other Algonquian Indians) to
seek further financial support for the Virginia Company. (The Virginia Company is a pair of English joint stock
companies whose purpose is to establish settlements on the coast of what today is North America.) The arrival
of Pocahontas on this "public relations trip" has been well publicized, and she is presented to King James I,
the royal family, and the rest of the best of London society.
Junius Matthews, the original voice of Rabbit for Disney's Winnie the Pooh featurettes, is born in Chicago, Illinois. He voiced Pooh's bunny friend for Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966), Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968), Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too! (1974), and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977). Matthews also supplied the voices of Scottie in One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) and Archimedes the Owl for The Sword in the Stone (1963).
Animator Clyde "Gerry" Geronimi, the co-director of many Disney animated features
including Sleeping Beauty, Lady and the Tramp, Peter Pan, and Cinderella is born
in Italy. Starting off in the shorts department, his "Lend a Paw" won the Academy Award for Best Animated
Short Subject. (After leaving Disney in 1959, Geronimi worked in TV - which included directing 58 episodes of
the animated series Spider-Man, starting in 1967.)
The Donald Duck short Donald's Garden, directed by Dick Lundy, is released.
Donald has many problems in his garden, including a hungry gopher who wants to eat his watermelons!
At Disneyland, the Monsanto House of the Future opens in Tomorrowland. The
walk-through attraction provides a glimpse of living in the future. (It will remain open until December 1967.)
Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln returns to Disneyland after
being replaced in 1973 with The Walt Disney Story. On this
day the Main Street Opera House becomes home to The Walt Disney Story
featuring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.
On this same day, America’s bicentennial kicks off a year early, when
America on Parade skyrockets onto the streets of Disneyland.
(Last week Disney World's America on Parade had stepped off in Florida.)
Pop singer Tiffany appears on Disney Channel's MMC.
Disney's animated feature Mulan premieres in Singapore. Based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Mulan is the first (of what will be three features) produced primarily at the Disney animation studio
at Disney-MGM Studios. The film will be released in the U.S. 7 days later.
Touchstone Pictures released the romantic comedy/adventure Six Days Seven
Nights. Robin Monroe (played by Anne Heche) a New York magazine editor, and the gruff pilot Quinn Harris
(Harrison Ford) must put aside their mutual dislike to survive after crash landing on a deserted South Seas island.
Animator Retta Davidson passes away at age 76 in Carisbad, California. Best known as one of the few women animators for Walt Disney Studios during the Golden Age of American animation, Davidson joined Disney first as an inker and painter, where she worked on Pinocchio, Bambi, Fantasia, and Sleeping Beauty. Due to World War II, the studio asked members of the Ink and Paint Department to submit artwork to be considered for animation training and jobs in the animation department. Davidson was one of a group of ten women accepted to the program. She worked as an animator until 1966. In 1980, Davidson was invited back to Disney to work on the feature-length animated films The Fox and the Hound and The Black Cauldron as coordinating animator. After their release, she continued to work at the studio as a trainer for new animators until her retirement in 1985.
Disney's animated feature Tarzan premieres in the U.S. at the
El Capitan Theater in Hollywood, California. The film will be generally released June 18.
Disney's animated Lorenzo wins the coveted short film grand prize at the 28th International Festival of Animated Film at Annecy (France). The award is presented to director Mike Gabriel. About a cat named Lorenzo who is overly proud of his high-life and his overly fluffy tail, the short had first premiered at the Florida Film Festival in March 2004. It will play in front of the feature film Raising Helen and later be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short Film.
Although Tropical Storm Alberto (the first of the season) strikes Florida, Walt Disney World in Central Florida receives only rain.
Kris Draper, center for the Detroit Red Wings, and his family spend the day at Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
Disney Legend Frank Fulton Burley is born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
Disneyland fans will remember him best from the Golden Horseshoe Revue, which he appeared in from 1962
until the show's final performance in 1986! In the original Enchanted Tiki Room, Fulton supplied the voice of the
Irish parrot, Michael. In the days before home video and DVD’s, Disney re-released many of their animated films
theatrically using road shows to promote the films in malls and on local television. Fulton promoted many
including Lady and the Tramp, Dumbo, and Winnie the Pooh.
Songwriter-singer John Sidney Linnel, one half of rock duo They Might Be Giants,
is born in New York City. The duo's Disney credits include the albums Here Comes the ABCs and Here Comes the 123s (which both feature his son Henry) and the soundtracks Disney's Return To Never Land, Disney's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Meet The Robinsons.
When Vice President Nixon and Walt
were waiting for the official first
ride on the Disneyland Monorail, an
empty train came by. In his
excitement, Walt couldn't wait. He
grabbed Nixon and jumped on
board, leaving Nixon's Secret
Service agents standing,
stunned, on the platform!
"Oh dear, mercy me!" -Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh
Walt and Lillian Disney arrive in London, England at Paddington Station.
Staying at Grosvenor House Hotel, they are on their honeymoon ... although they have been married for 10 years!
The relocated 1,500-seat Theater of the Stars, now on the brand new Sunset Boulevard at Disney-MGM Studios, reopens with Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage (a musical production that has been running in the park since 1991). Sunset Boulevard pays tribute to the glamorous theater district of Tinseltown in all its glory days.
Captain EO returns to Disneyland Paris. (It has replaced Honey, I Shrunk the Audience.)
Sounds Like Summer Concert Series returns to Epcot. Running through July 31, tribute bands will perform at the American Gardens Theatre in Epcot's World Showcase. Kicking off the festivities on this day is Stayin’ Alive – A Tribute to The Bee Gees.
Toy Story 3 has its worldwide premiere at Taormina Film Fest in Italy. (It will premiere in the U.S. the following day.)
George H. W. Bush, the 41st U.S. President, is born in Massachusetts. In September 1991,
he appeared at Epcot with his wife Barbara. Visit him and all the chief executives at WDW's Hall of Presidents.
Disney Legend & Oscar-winning songwriter Richard Morton Sherman is born
in Manhattan, New York. He and his older brother Robert wrote many memorable songs
for countless Disney features and park attractions. Their connection to Disney began In 1958
when they had their first "Top Ten" hit with "Tall Paul", sung by Mouseketeer Annette Funicello.
The success of this song yielded the attention of Walt Disney who hired the Sherman Brothers
as Staff Songwriters for Walt Disney Studios. Some of their best-known works includes songs
from Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Winnie the Pooh, and the Disney theme park song "It's a Small World (After All)".
Disneyland Grad Nite '73 is held between 11pm-5am. For $9, guests get unlimited
use of all rides and attractions.
Actor Mel Rodriguez is born in Miami, Florida. Best known for starring as Nurse Patsy de la Serda on the HBO comedy Getting On, he voiced Colt Bronco (a centaur police officer and Laurel's boyfriend) in Disney/Pixar's Onward (2020).
The fourth and final Star Wars Weekends for the 2009 season takes place at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Celebrity guests include director Dave Filoni and actor Temuera Morrison.
Lilly the Witch – The Dragon and the Magic Book, a German children's film directed
by Stefan Ruzowitzky, is released in Spain by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
First released in Germany last February, the film tells the story of a young girl named Lilli (played by Alina Freund)
who encounters a book of spells and a talking dragon.
Magical: Disney's New Nighttime Spectacular of Magical Celebrations, a new summer fireworks show, debuts at Disneyland. The show features recorded music and dialogue, fireworks, lower level pyrotechnics, 10k spotlights, and gobo projections via Vari-Lite 3000 Spot fixtures housed in enclosures on Sleeping Beauty Castle and the Matterhorn. (It will run through 2014.)
At Epcot, the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series kicks off with performances by Hotel California - A Salute to the Eagles.
This Day in Disney History - THE FIRST - THE ORIGINAL
Traveling in time since 1999!
Film director Kevin Lima is born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.His Disney credits as
an animator/character designer include The Brave Little Toaster, Oliver & Company, and
The Little Mermaid. As a director, Lima's credits include the animated A Goofy Movie and Tarzan, and
the live-action features 102 Dalmatians and Enchanted.
Composer, producer, and arranger of film scores Klaus Badelt is born in Frankfurt, West Germany. He is known for his collaborations with Hans Zimmer, helping to write scores for dozens of critically acclaimed films including Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Badelt also wrote additional music for The Tigger Movie and Pearl Harbor.
Screenwriter and producer Jared Bush, best known for co-directing and co-writing the 2016 Disney animated film Zootopia, is born in Gaithersburg, Maryland. His
Disney credits also include Big Hero 6, Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero, Moana, and Ralph Breaks the Internet.
The Lion The Beast The Beat, the fourth studio album by the rock band Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, is released through Disney's Hollywood Records.
Artemis Fowl, a science fantasy adventure film based on the 2001 novel of the same name by Eoin Colfer, is digitally released on Disney+. Artemis Fowl, played by Ferdia Shaw, is a 12-year-old genius and a descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds. He searches for his father, played by Colin Farrell, who has mysteriously disappeared, and comes into conflict with the hidden world of the fairies. The
cast includes Lara McDonnell, Josh Gad, and Judi Dench. The film was originally scheduled for a theatrical release
in August, but was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Walt Disney Records releases Artemis Fowl: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, featuring music by Scottish composer Patrick Doyle.
Actress/singer Vanessa Williams and daughter Sasha Gabriella Fox pose for photos with Daisy Duck at Disney's Animal Kingdom park during a visit to Disney World.