Alice Liddell - the inspiration for Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures
in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass - is born in London,
England. On July 4, 1862, in a rowboat traveling on The Isis from Folly Bridge, Oxford to Godstow for
a picnic outing, 10-year-old Liddell asked Charles Dodgson (who wrote under the pen name Lewis Carroll)
to entertain her and her two sisters with a story. As the Reverend Robinson Duckworth rowed the boat,
Dodgson told the girls fantastic stories of a girl, named Alice, and her adventures after falling into a rabbit-
hole. Enamored with the story, young Alice asked Mr. Dodgson to write the story down for her. (In 1951,
Disney released the animated Alice in Wonderland, based primarily on Dodgson's Adventures in
Wonderland with a few additional elements from Through the Looking-Glass.)
Sales & public relations representative and Disney Legend Cyril Edgar is born
in London, England. In April 1971, he will be named European Supervisor in charge of sales for
the entire continent.
Surf guitarist Dick Dale, whose rendition of Camille Saint-Saen's Aquarium
can be heard while riding Disneyland's Space Mountain, is born Richard Anthony
Monsour in Boston, Massachusetts. Known as "The King of the Surf Guitar," Dale also performed
live on top of Space Mountain in 1998 for the re-opening of Disneyland's Tomorrowland! (His 1961 "Let's Go
Trippin'" is often regarded as the very first surf rock song.)
Seal Island - Disney's first True-Life Adventure featurette - is generally released (it
had been previewed in theaters back in December 1948). Directed by James Algar, the
documentary studies the saga of life on Seal Island, one of the tiny specks of land in the Bering Sea. (RKO Radio
Pictures, the distributor of Disney’s films at this time, initially had refused to release the half-hour Seal Island.
Disney booked the film for its Los Angeles and New York theatrical engagements, and RKO later agreed to release
the film nationally only after it proved its commercial potential and received the Academy Award!)
Samuel Lord Black, rendering software engineer for such animated features as
The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, and Monsters, Inc. is born in Ontario, Canada.
The Orlando Sentinel reports rumors of an "East Coast Disneyland."
Space Mountain opens in Disneyland. Based on concepts by Imagineer John Hench,
Space Mountain at Disneyland was designed by Bill Watkins. It is the second Space Mountain in
existence, as the first one opened at WDW in January 1975. Also opening as part of the Space
Mountain complex is the Starcade arcade, Space Place Restaurant and Tomorrowland Space
Stage. (SM will have an official grand opening May 27.)
The Disney Channel airs episode 9 of MMC. Today is Party Day!
Actor Alexander Gould is born in Los Angeles, California. He is the voice of
the animated clownfish Nemo in Finding Nemo (2003) and Exploring the Reef with Jean-Michel Cousteau (2003). Gould also voiced Bambi in the direct-to-video Bambi 2 (2006) and Passenger Carl in Finding Dory (2016).
A moment on the floor of U.K. Parliament includes the first recorded use of a pun that will spawn its own holiday. Harry Cohen (at this time a Member of Parliament from Leyton) quotes his researchers as saying, "May the Fourth be with you," a play on the date and the tagline "May the Force be with you" from Star Wars. The pun (which may or may not have been original to Cohen’s staff) will be repeated countless times, to the extent that May 4 will be recognized as Star Wars Day by Lucasfilm, Disney and fans around the world.
Disney's stage musical The Lion King is nominated for 11 Tony Awards for excellence
At Disneyland, astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Buzz Lightyear attend the re-opening of the
Moonliner attraction. The original TWA Moonliner was a futuristic exhibit at Tomorrowland that stood 80-feet
tall. Designed by John Hench, it was retired in 1967. A scaled down version with the familiar TWA red stripes but
(without the TWA logo) is now part of the new 1998 version of Tomorrowland. It is used to promote Coca-Cola.
Pixar Animation Studios announces that Brad Bird, the critically-acclaimed director
and writer of animated feature films, has joined the company as a director.
At this time Bird is known for his 2-D hand-animated 1999 Warner Bros. film The Iron Giant.
He will go on to direct the 2004 release The Incredibles and later the 2007 Ratatouille.
For 4 consecutive weekends beginning on this day, the Disney-MGM
Studios joins forces with Lucasfilm Ltd. to present the third annual Star Wars
Weekends. (The Star Wars festival first began in 1997 but wasn't held again until 2000.) With the popular Star
Tours attraction, Hollywood-style motorcades and star conversations, a Cantina Street Party and celebrity
autograph sessions, MGM is transformed into a Force-filled fan-fest. The event will also take place May 11-13, May 18-20 and May 25-27.
A large tree, near the Mark Twain's Riverboat landing in Frontierland, falls over in
Disney Channel airs the Lizzie McGuire episode "Bad Girl McGuire" for the
first time. This episode is directed by Anson Williams (who played Potsie on the ABC-TV hit series Happy Days.)
Disney's El Capitan Theater presents Robin Hood as part of
the ongoing "Disney Saturday Morning Movies."
Disneyland closes to the public on this day for a VIP
and Celebrity party in honor of the 18-month 50th
Celebration event (which will officially kick off the next
day). A gold carpeted Main Street leads guests to the entrance of
Frontierland where the festivities are being held. Earlier in the afternoon
the premier of "Disneyland – The First 50 Years" takes place with a
ceremony hosted by Steve Martin and Donald Duck. Also in attendance
is actress Julie Andrews, Disneyland's 50th Anniversary Honorary
Ambassador. The evening ends with the premiere of the "Remember Dreams Come True" fireworks spectacular.
The Godfather of Soul James Brown and his family visit Walt Disney World.
During planning for Rock 'n' Roller
Coaster, Imagineers wanted to choose
one of the world's greatest bands
around which to build the back story
for the attraction. They decided
Aerosmith would be the perfect fit.
But initially Imagineers were unable to
reach singer Steven Tyler and guitarist
Joe Perry. Why? Because they were
vacationing with their
families at the
Disney field-tests a brand-new hard ticket concept for the parks called The Disney 8th
Grade Grad Jam. The reservation-only event, to help 8th graders celebrate the end of middle school, takes
place at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Florida.
The C.K. Holliday Locomotive No. 1, one of Disneyland's four steam engines, is
loaded onto a flatbed truck and taken to the Fullerton Transportation Center at 122 E.
Santa Fe Ave. The 9-ton engine will make a guest appearance at Fullerton's ninth-annual Railroad Days May 5
& 6. This marks the second year the theme park has allowed one of its four steam engines to leave the premises.
(The engine, named for Cyrus Kurtz Holliday - the founder of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad - is one of
only two built at the Disney Studios.)
Russi Taylor, the voice of Minnie Mouse since 1985 (longer than any other
actress), is born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has also voiced Huey, Dewey, and Louie Duck
and Webby Vanderquack in the DuckTales television series. Taylor was married to Wayne Allwine, the third
voice of Mickey Mouse. They were both named Disney Legends in 2008.
"Animation is about creating the illusion of life. And you can't create it if you don't have one." -Brad Bird
The 50th episode of Hannah Montana - "The Way We Almost Weren't" airs for
the first time on Disney Channel. Actress Brooke Shields guests stars as Hannah's late mom
(in flashback scenes).
The full list of nominees are revealed for this year's MTV Movie Awards. Miley Cyrus
(Disney's Hannah Montana) is nominated for two categories - "Breakthrough Performance - Female" and "Best
Song from a Movie" (a brand-new category) for her hit song "The Climb." Competing against Cyrus for
"Breakthrough Performance - Female" are fellow Disney gals & High School Musical stars Vanessa Hudgens
and Ashley Tisdale. The awards show will be held at Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California, May 31.
Disney announces that the Broadway production of Aida will close on from June 28 until the end of the run.
'Piano' Bob Jackson debuts his one man cabaret show at Riverside's River
Roost Lounge at Walt Disney World's Port Orleans Riverside Resort.
The Avengers, a superhero film produced by Marvel
Studios, distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, and
based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the
same name, is generally released in the U.S.
Scripted and directed by Joss Whedon, the film features the ensemble
cast of Robert Downey, Jr. (as Iron Man), Chris Evans (as Captain
America), Mark Ruffalo (as Hulk), Chris Hemsworth (as Thor), Scarlett
Johansson (as Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (as Hawkeye), Tom
Hiddleston (as Loki), and Samuel L. Jackson (as Nick Fury). Fury of
S.H.I.E.L.D. brings together a team of super humans to form The
Avengers in order to help save the Earth from Loki (Thor's adoptive
brother & nemesis) and his army. (The film will received praise for
Whedon's direction and screenplay, visual effects, action sequences,
acting, and musical score by Alan Silvetsri, and garner numerous
awards and nominations including Academy Award and BAFTA nominations for achievements in visual effects.)
A male white rhino calf is born at Disney's Animal Kingdom. This birth is the fourth for
mom, Kendi, a 13-year-old white rhino, who was the first rhino born at the Florida park.
Animator and director Kenneth David "Ken" Walker is born in Salt Lake City, Utah.
He worked for Disney from 1940–42 and 1945–52, on such features as Fantasia and Alice in Wonderland. (Walker
also worked for many other notable companies, such as Columbia Pictures and Hanna-Barbera.)
Star Wars Weekends is a festival generally held annually at the Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park of the Walt Disney World Resort. Included with
park admission, the event typically occurs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for four consecutive weekends in May and June and features appearances
by cast and crew members from Disney's Star Wars franchise created by George Lucas.
May 4 is Star Wars Day
"May the Fourth Be With You"
Walt Disney Records releases the original motion picture soundtracks for the first 6
Star Wars films. Titles include Star Wars A New Hope, Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars Return
of the Jedi, Star Wars The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Attack of the Clones, and Star Wars Revenge of the Sith.
With scores composed and conducted by Academy Award-winning composer John Williams, each album has been remastered, features new artwork and a collectible mini-poster.
Actor, voice actor, comedian and producer Will Arnett is born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is the voice of Horst (Chef Skinner's German sous chef) in Pixar's 2007 Ratatouille and appeared in the 2009 family adventure comedy G-Force.
Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, a behind the scenes look at the making of the Disney+ series The Mandalorian, begins streaming.
Actress, singer & dancer Grace Phipps is born in Austin, Texas. Well known for starring in the Disney Channel movies Teen Beach Movie and Teen Beach 2, she also appeared in an episode of Austin & Alley.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch, an animated series created by Dave Filoni, debuts on Disney+. Part of the Star Wars franchise, acting as both a sequel to and spin-off from the series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Bad Batch is produced by Lucasfilm Animation and features the voices of Dee Bradley Baker (as all members of the Bad Batch) and Michelle Ang (as Omega). The first season will run for 16 episodes.
The animated Maggie Simpson in The Force Awakens From Its Nap begins to stream on Disney+. On an epic quest for her stolen pacifier, Maggie's adventure brings her face-to-face with young Padawans, Sith Lords, familiar droids, Rebel scum, and an ultimate battle against the dark side, in this original short celebrating the Star Wars galaxy.
Actress Lois de Banzie is born in Glasgow, Scotland. Appearing on stage, television and film, her Disney credits include Arachnophobia (1990) and Sister Act (1992).
"May the 4th is an appropriate date for a defense debate. My researcher, who is a bit of a wit, said that it should be called National Star Wars Day." -Harry Cohen