Monday, August 6, 2012

Vault Disney ~ Aug. 6

Today in Disney History ~ August 6, 1970

Hippies and Yippies Take Tom Sawyer Island

Although many events were planned by the group, they all went up in smoke after their "smoke-in" on Tom Sawyer's Island.  After capturing Castle Rock, raising the Viet Cong flag, and getting stoned, the Yippies marched down Main Street, harassed the Disneyland Marching Band, and sang songs such as “We are marching to Cambodia.” Disneyland and Anaheim police were aware of the plans beforehand and prepared for approximately 200,000 protesters.  However, only 300 actually showed and probably half of them were just there out of curiosity.  

Basically, the hippies and yippies were just a nuisance, running between the marching band, smoking pot in Adventures Thru Innerspace, climbing the mast of the Chicken of the Sea pirate ship, and trying to cause a commotion outside the entrance gates. Even when offered a group rate of 50 cents each by park VP Dick Nunis, the Yippies refused. Guests who wanted to be at Disneyland sang “God Bless America” in retaliation to the Yippies. However, outside of the park and into the parking lot, things escalated and scuffles between police and the protesters ensued.  Disneyland closed 5 hours early for the first time in park history.

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