Monday, January 11, 2010

President Nixon's 1971 Gold Pass

I've blogged about the Richard Nixon-Disneyland connections before. Today, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum (a part of the National Archives and Records Administration) is releasing additional Presidential materials (read a description). While the Library is releasing many documents of tremendous historical importance, I was also given permission to process the Disney Alphabetical Name File. The Alphabetical Name Files was a group of materials maintained by the White House Central Files, which was mainly a cross-filing of materials by the names of people and organizations. The Name Files do have some original materials as well. Walt had, of course, passed away before Nixon became President, but the Disney file contains correspondence from other Americans named Disney, as well as correspondence with members of Walt Disney Productions, such as Roy Disney and Bob Jani.

Also in the file is the President's 1971 Disneyland Gold Pass, as seen below. It was sent to the White House attached to cardstock...

...and came with brief instructions on the benefits it conferred:

For Vintage Disneyland Tickets, a close-up of the front of the pass:

Without a pressing preservation or exhibition concern, I wasn't going to remove the tape which secured the pass in place, so I do not have a scan of the back.

Elsewhere in the files I have seen evidence of the Nixon having received a 1969 pass, and in another as yet unprocessed file we have his 1970 pass. I have not found any later passes, which leads me to wonder if Nixon received these more because of his relationship with Walt and Roy than because of his position as President. (After all, the President would undoubtedly be able to visit Disneyland for free!)

8 comments:

Thufer said...

Very nice. Thank you for this post.

TokyoMagic! said...

Very nice, indeed! I wonder if he ever went to the park in 1971? Do you think the pass was ever removed from the original folder?

Progressland said...

He didn't visit Disneyland while he was President, but those who accompanied him to the Western White House in San Clemente often did. We have a copy of the accompanying card for the 1969 pass, but it is not in our files. (The copy was made by the White House, so it looks like we never had it.) There are no signs that the 1971 pass ever left its card, but you have to figure that the President could receive the same benefits by other means...!

Matterhorn1959 said...

Very cool piece. I love that it just does not say Mr. and Mrs. Richard Nixon, but is specific President and Mrs. Richard Nixon. Was there any other letters that accompanied this, such as the next time you are in California, why don't you stop by the Studio?

Major Pepperidge said...

Is that a facsimile of Roy Disney's signature, or the real deal? I would think that even as VP Mr. Nixon would have been able to visit Disneyland for free.

Progressland said...

I did not see any letters accompanying this or the other Gold Passes I saw (which probably explains why the White House files people weren't sure who to thank--if perhaps someone had been an intermediate with Roy). If there were letters, they should have been in this file.

The signature is a facsimile. And yes, I'm sure as VP his relationship with Walt got him in for free!

outsidetheberm said...

Sad to think, but with Roy's death in December of 1971, you're most likely correct in assuming his relationship with the Disney brothers led to him getting passes. It might explain them ending after 1971.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Unbelievable... THAT's the ultimate GOLD pass - its like a "POTUS AP"! You actually got to handle this - WOW! - Thanks for sharing it with us.