Walt Disney pens his annual birthday letter to his sister Ruth. Walt writes
of his new Palm Springs place, his grandchildren, and his "Art of Animation" exhibit that the studio
has prepared for the San Francisco Museum. Along with his wishes for a Happy Birthday is a check for Ruth.
The Walt Disney Treasures series releases 4 new, separate
limited-series DVD sets. They include The Chronological Donald, Volume 2 (a compilation of
Donald Duck shorts from 1942 to 1946), The Adventures of Spin and Marty (the entire first season of the
series that ran on the 1955-56 "Mickey Mouse Club"), Disney Rarities, Celebrated Shorts 1920s-1960s
(featuring Walt's "Alice" comedies and “Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom”), and Elfego Baca and The Swamp
Fox, Legendary Heroes (two of Walt's adventure TV series).
Ruth F. Disney - Walt Disney's only sister and the youngest child in the family -
is born in Chicago, Illinois. (As a young adult she moved to Portland, Oregon,
married Theodore Beecher and had a son named Ted.)
Legendary jazz pianist-composer Dave Brubeck (known for his 1959 million-selling hit "Take Five") is born in Concord, California. In 1957
he released the theme album Dave Digs Disney, a collection of 8 well-known Disney songs,
on the Columbia/Legacy label.
The Laugh-O-Gram silent black & white cartoon Cinderella is released. The short, based
on Charles Perrault's classic, is directed, produced, written and co-animated by Walt Disney. (It is one of 6 fairy
tales in Walt's Laugh-O-Gram series.)
Also released is the Laugh-O-Gram combination live-action and animated short
Tommy Tuckers Tooth, written and co-animated by Walt Disney. It is made for a local
Kansas City dentist, Dr. Thomas B. McCrum. The $500 Walt will earn from this short will enable him to begin work
Character actor Wally Cox is born in Detroit, Michigan. His Disney credits include the
live-action comedies The Barefoot Executive and The Boatniks. About an awkward Coast Guard ensign, the 1970
The Boatniks featured Cox as Jason Bennett. In the 1971 The Barefoot Executive, about a chimpanzee who can
predict the popularity of television programs, Cox played chauffeur, Albert Mertons. (Cartoon fans may remember
him as the voice of Underdog - while fans of classic TV know Cox as the star of the 1950s sitcom Mr. Peepers.)
Actor & theater producer Tom Hulce, the voice of Quasimodo in Disney's 1996
animated release The Hunchback of Notre Dame, is born in Detroit, Michigan.
(Hulce is probably best known for his roles of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the feature film Amadeus and
Pinto in National Lampoon's Animal House. He is also a lead producer of the stage adaptation of the
Green Day album American Idiot.)
Mickey Mouse Club airs on ABC-TV. Today is Guest Star Day.
The new Los Angeles American League baseball franchise is awarded to cowboy
movie star (and good friend of Walt Disney's) Gene Autry and former football
player Bob Reynolds. Walt will later sit on the board of directors. First known as the Los Angeles
Angles, in time the team will be called the Anaheim Angels and in 1996 be owned by Disney through 2002.
Walt Disney writes his annual birthday letter to his sister Ruth in which he states:
"We are working like Trojans on the new revamping for Disneyland. Right after New Years we will start construction in the Frontierland area on projects involving a Swiss family tree house, New Orleans Square with a pirate museum, and, also, a haunted house with a thousand and one ghosts. We plan to reopen the area next June ... Of course everything won't be completed by that time (there's too much involved and not enough time to get it all done before the 1962 summer season starts.) But we will have a lot accomplished."
The TV special Christmas in Disneyland featuring Art Carney,
Sandy Duncan, and Glen Campbell airs.
Lindsey Alley, a member of Disney's Channel's The All
New Mickey Mouse Club, is born in Lakeland, Florida.
The Miami Herald runs an article titled "Disney ride's fan not ready to
kiss Mr. Toad goodbye." The article tells the story of Jeff Moskot, a 26-year-old from
Miami, and his fight to keep Mr. Toad from being replaced by a new Winnie the Pooh attraction.
Moskot will hold his first official "Toad-In" the following day.
The Lizzie McGuire episode "Xtreme Xmas" debuts on Disney Channel.
Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler appears as Santa Claus performing "Santa
Claus Is Coming To Town." His daughters Chelsea and Taj Tallarico make cameo appearances as well.
The Disney/Pixar feature Finding Nemo premieres in Japan.
ASIFA-Hollywood announces the nominations for the
32nd Annual Annie Awards (which recognize the year’s finest achievement in
animation across film, television, commercials and short subjects). Disney
nominated works include The Incredibles, The Lion King 1 1/2, Mickey, Donald & Goofy "The Three
Musketeers", Home on the Range, Brandy and Mr. Whiskers, Dave the Barbarian, and Winnie the Pooh,
Springtime with Roo. Winners will be announced January 30.
Delmer J. Yoakum - an artist, oil & watercolor painter, designer, serigrapher, and
motion picture studio scenic artist - is born in St. Joseph, Missouri. He painted the Grand
Canyon and Primeval World Diorama scenery (viewable from the train of Disneyland Railroad), portions of Pirates
of the Caribbean, It's a Small World and the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland in California. (For over 21 years,
Yoakum worked for Paramount, 20th Century Fox, and MGM, creating dioramic scenes for such feature films as
The King and I, Niagara, North by Northwest and Some Like it Hot.)
The Disney World shop Tinker Bell's Treasures opens for business in the Fantasyland area of the Magic Kingdom.
Elias Disney (Walt's dad)
once worked as a
As a young man, Walt
too worked for the Post
Office ... but in Chicago,
from July thru September
The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards are presented at the Atlantic
Dance Hall at Walt Disney World. U.S. Naval Academy slot back Zerbin Singleton (who has displayed
an unwavering determination, overcoming a serious car wreck and a series of family tragedies to follow his dream
of one day becoming a part of the U.S. space program) is given Disney's Wide World of Sports Spirit Award.
Due to the Local One Stagehands strike, Disney's newest Broadway production
A sneak preview for Disney's first full-length animated feature Snow White and the
Seven Dwarfs takes place in a theater in Pomona, California.
(The film's grand premiere is scheduled for December 21 in Hollywood.)
"The preview was unsettling. The audience seemed to be enjoying the film, laughing, applauding. But about three quarters of the way
through, one-third of them got up and walked out. Everybody else kept responding enthusiastically to 'Snow White' right to the end,
but we were concerned about that third. Later we found out they were local college students who had to get back for their 10 p.m.
dormitory curfew." -Wilfred Jackson, one of the sequence directors
The very first video under the "Walt Disney Classics" brand name arrives in
stores. (Walt Disney Classics is used by Walt Disney Home Video on their American, Japanese, European and
Australian home video releases of Disney animated features.) The first of the Classics on video is Robin Hood.
Taping continues at the Magic Kingdom for Walt Disney World Christmas
Day Parade, which will air nationwide December 25 on ABC-TV.
Today is St. Nicholas Day
"Some activists protest nuclear generators in space. Others, the mistreatment of Haitian refugees. On
Sunday, a Miami man and his friends will invade Walt Disney World in a battle to spare the life of
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride." -The Miami Herald December 6, 1997
The first Auto-Train leaves Lorton, Virginia on its
inaugural run down south to Sanford, Florida (located
about 43 miles from Walt Disney World). First setup in
1970, the Auto-Train Corporation realized there was a market for trains
that could carry both passengers and their autos - specifically down
to sunny Florida. Soon to be known as the "official family railroad of
Walt Disney World," the Auto-Train will even sponsor the Magic
Kingdom's steam train (for a short time in the mid 1970s). Unfortunately
the company will later go bankrupt - but Amtrak, recognizing the market demand for such a route, will purchase the Auto-Train depots and much of their equipment. (The revived Auto Train service is still in operation today, where it
continues to be Amtrak’s highest grossing and most profitable train.)
The Jonas Brothers perform their new holiday single, "Summertime Anthem,"
in a segment taped in front of the Cinderella Castle at Disney World for the
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver induct
Walt Disney into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum
for History, Women, and the Arts.
Espace Euro Disneyland (Euro Disney Preview Center) welcomes its first guests.
Visitors can marvel at beautiful concept drawings and tiny scale models of various attractions. It features an
exhibition hall, a movie theater, a retail store and a small food facility. Situated on the outskirts of Serris, a
small village close to the southern border of the Euro Disney property, the center has been designed by
architect Robert A.M. Stern.
Actress Agnes Moorehead, widely known to audiences for her role as the witch
Endora on the sitcom Bewitched, is born in Clinton, Massachusetts. Moorehead was one
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts kick off construction of its luxury resort at Walt
Disney World Resort with a groundbreaking ceremony with joint venture partners
Silverstein Properties and Dune Real Estate Partners. The 444-room resort is being built in
the enclave of Golden Oak at Walt Disney World Resort, with an anticipated opening in 2014.
Walt Disney World marks the grand opening of a new Fantasyland at its Magic
Kingdom park with actress Ginnifer Goodwin (who portrays Snow White on
the ABC series Once Upon a Time). The largest expansion in the park's 41-year history
(expanding from 10 acres to 21), new attractions include Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid,
Enchanted Tales with Belle and a duplicate Dumbo, the Flying Elephant. The expansion also features
Beast's Castle, which sits atop Be Our Guest restaurant, and Storybook Circus (which has been open to
guests since March). More Fantasyland additions are coming next year, including Princess Fairytale Hall.
Over at Epcot, a newly reimagined Test Track reopens. The iconic attraction (open since
1999) is now a new collaboration between Chevrolet Design and Walt Disney Imagineering - celebrating
how meticulous design not only shapes the look of Chevrolet cars, trucks and crossovers, but drives their
performance on the open road.