Claim: Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev was denied permission to visit Disneyland during a state visit to the U.S. in 1959.
Origins: Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev visited
Although Khrushchev expressed a desire to make a visit to Disneyland that day, the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) chief declined to arrange such a trip because adequate security arrangements could not be made.
Khrushchev arrived in
Shortly before Khrushchev arrived in Los Angeles on the afternoon of
But just now I was told that I could not go to Disneyland. I asked: ‘Why not?’ What is it, do you have rocket-launching pads there? I do not know. And just listen — just listen to what I was What is it? Is there an epidemic of cholera there or something? Or have gangsters taken over the place that can destroy me? Then what must I do? Commit suicide? This is the situation I am
We have come to this town where lives the cream of American art. And just imagine, I a Premier, a Soviet representative, when I came here to this city, I was given a
But just now I was told that I could not go to Disneyland. I asked: ‘Why not?’ What is it, do you have rocket-launching pads there? I do not know.
And just listen — just listen to what I was
What is it? Is there an epidemic of cholera there or something? Or have gangsters taken over the place that can destroy me? Then what must I do? Commit suicide? This is the situation I am
A slightly different version of events was related by the celebrities who sat with
incident that allegedly led to Krushchev’s tirade a few minutes later. Frank Sinatra, who was sitting next to
Neither General Zakharov nor the State Department objected when Chief Parker recommended dropping Disneyland from the schedule, although two different security plans for a visit to Disneyland (one for
Although none of the Khrushchev family ended up going to Disneyland that day, four Soviet newsmen did spend about four hours at the park, saying that there was nothing like it in the Soviet Union, and that they believed
Since 1959, the details of Krushchev’s non-visit to Disneyland have often been misreported. For example, many sources have erred by stating that Krushchev actually did visit Disneyland, while others have claimed that Krushchev was not allowed to visit the park because Walt Disney himself refused to allow it. (Disney was certainly no fan of communism, but he most likely would have relished the opportunity to show up the “Russians” by escorting their leader around his beloved theme park.)
Last updated: 10 May 2015
Angelo, Bonnie and Jordan Bonfante. “Thanks for the Memory.” Time. 11 June 1990 (p. 10). Apple Jr., R. W. “No Summit Can Match Boisterous ’59 Circus.” The New York Times. 17 May 1990 (p. A20). Asbury, Edith Evans. “Mme. Khrushchev Regrets Incident.” The New York Times. 21 September 1959. The New York Times. “Four Soviet Newsmen Find Disneyland Fun.” 20 September 1959. The New York Times. “Mme. Khrushchev Meets Stars.” 21 September 1959 (p. 40). United Press International. “Premier Annoyed by Ban on a Visit to Disneyland.” The New York Times. 21 September 1959 (p. 1).