Disneyland, Walt Disney’s metropolis of nostalgia, fantasy, and futurism, opens on July 17, 1955. The $17 million theme park was built on 160 acres of former orange groves in Anaheim, California, and soon brought in staggering profits. Today, Disneyland hosts more than 14 million visitors a year, who spend close to $3 billion.
In the early 1950s, Walt Disney began designing a huge amusement park to be built near Los Angeles. He intended Disneyland to have educational as well as amusement value and to entertain adults and their children. Land was bought in the farming community of Anaheim, about 25 miles southeast of Los Angeles, and construction began in 1954. In the summer of 1955, special invitations were sent out for the opening of Disneyland on July 17. Unfortunately, the pass was counterfeited and thousands of uninvited people were admitted into Disneyland on opening day. The park was not ready for the public: food and drink ran out, a women’s high-heel shoe got stuck in the wet asphalt of Main Street USA, and the Mark Twain Steamboat nearly capsized from too many passengers.
Disneyland soon recovered, however, and attractions such as the Castle, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Snow White’s Adventures, Space Station X-1, Jungle Cruise, and Stage Coach drew countless children and their parents. Special events and the continual building of new state-of-the-art attractions encouraged them to visit again
180 – Twelve inhabitants of Scillium in North Africa are executed for being Christians. This is the earliest record of Christianity in that part of the world.
1203 – The Fourth Crusade captures Constantinople by assault. The Byzantine emperor Alexius III Angelus flees from his capital into exile.
1402 – Zhu Di, better known by his era name as the Yongle Emperor, assumes the throne over the Ming Dynasty of China.
1453 – Hundred Years’ War: Battle of Castillon: The French under Jean Bureau defeat the English under the Earl of Shrewsbury, who is killed in the battle in Gascony.
1586 – A meeting takes place at Lüneburg between several Protestant powers in order to discuss the formation of an ‘evangelical’ league of defence, called the ‘Confederatio Militiae Evangelicae’, against the Catholic League.
1717 – King George I of Great Britain sails down the River Thames with a barge of 50 musicians, where George Frideric Handel’s Water Music is premiered.
1762 – Catherine II becomes tsar of Russia upon the murder of Peter III of Russia.
1791 – Members of the French National Guard under the command of General Lafayette open fire on a crowd of radical Jacobins at the Champ de Mars, Paris, during the French Revolution, killing as many as 50 people.
1794 – The sixteen Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne are executed 10 days prior to the end of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror.
1815 – Napoleonic Wars: In France, Napoleon surrenders at Rochefort, Charente-Maritime to British forces.
1867 – Harvard School of Dental Medicine was established in Boston. It was the first dental school in the U.S.
1917 – King George V of the United Kingdom issues a Proclamation stating that the male line descendants of the British royal family will bear the surname Windsor.
1918 – On the orders of the Bolshevik Party carried out by Cheka, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his immediate family and retainers are murdered at the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
1918 – The RMS Carpathia, the ship that rescued the 705 survivors from the RMS Titanic, is sunk off Ireland by the German SM U-55; 5 lives are lost.
1933 – After successfully crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the Lithuanian research aircraft Lituanica crashes in Europe under mysterious circumstances.
1936 – Spanish Civil War: An Armed Forces rebellion against the recently-elected leftist Popular Front government of Spain starts the civil war.
1938 – Douglas Corrigan takes off from Brooklyn to fly the “wrong way” to Ireland and becomes known as “Wrong Way” Corrigan.
1942 – World War II: The Battle of Stalingrad commences in modern-day Volgograd.
1944 – World War II: Napalm incendiary bombs are dropped for the first time by American P-38 pilots on a fuel depot at Coutances, near St. Lô, France.
1945 – World War II: Potsdam Conference – at Potsdam, U.S. President Harry Truman, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the three main Allied leaders, begin their final summit of the war. The meeting would end on August 2.
1955 – Disneyland televises its grand opening in Anaheim, California.
1962 – Nuclear weapons testing: The “Small Boy” test shot Little Feller I becomes the last atmospheric test detonation at the Nevada Test Site.
1968 – A revolution occurs in Iraq when Abdul Rahman Arif is overthrown and the Ba’ath Party is installed as the governing power in Iraq with Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr as the new Iraqi President.
1973 – King Mohammed Zahir Shah of Afghanistan is deposed by his cousin Mohammed Daoud Khan while in Italy undergoing eye surgery.
1975 – Apollo-Soyuz Test Project: An American Apollo and a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft dock with each other in orbit marking the first such link-up between spacecraft from the two nations.
1976 – History of East Timor: East Timor is annexed, and becomes the 27th province of Indonesia.
1976 – The opening of the Summer Olympics in Montreal is marred by 25 African teams boycotting the New Zealand team.
1979 – Nicaraguan president General Anastasio Somoza Debayle resigns and flees to Miami, Florida.
1981 – The opening of the Humber Bridge by HM The Queen in England.
1989 – First flight of the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber.
1997 – The F.W. Woolworth Company closes after 117 years in business.
1998 – A diplomatic conference adopts the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, establishing a permanent international court to prosecute individuals for genocide, crime against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression.
2002 – Apple Inc. premiers iCal at Macworld Expo, therefore the date that appears default on Dock
2007 – Trans-Neptunian Object 2007 OR10 is discovered.