Lauren Looks Back: That Time Khrushcev Got Banned From Disneyland

September 19, 1959. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev is visiting LA for the first time with his wife, and he wants to take in the sights. He visited the 20th Century Fox Studio, met Shirley MacLaine, and Frank Sinatra, was delighted by all the things he saw… and then he visited an LA town hall. 20th Century Fox President, Spyros P. Skouras, was poking the bear – if you will – by saying LA would not back down to communism, and wouldn't be buried. This flared Krushchev's temper, and things got heated.

Government officials intervened, and decided for everyone's safety that he would not be visiting Disneyland. This didn't sit well with him. "And I say, I would very much like to go and see Disneyland. But then, we cannot guarantee your security, they say. Then what must I do? Commit suicide? What is it? Is there an epidemic of cholera there or something? Or have gangsters taken hold of the place that can destroy me?"

After that he finished his tour of California, and met with President Eisenhower in Washington as planned. But in the span of one day he got to meet Hollywood royalty and be banned from Disneyland.

About Baltimore Lauren

I like pinball machines, Archie Comics, and bad movies. Sometimes I write about old books for the heck of it. Follow me on Twitter: @BaltimoreLauren

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