Saturday, November 22, 2008

Columbia Dedication, June 14, 1958

Disneyland's replica of the "Columbia" is still with us today. I haven't seen it sailing in a while, but I do tend to go to the park in the off season. Anyway, here are some photos (kindly donated by the same reader who sent us these) taken during the Columbia's dedication ceremony on June 14, 1958.

This first shot shows a crowded Columbia. If there were rafters, it would be packed to them! It's interesting that it appears to be just ordinary folks on board... perhaps they were actually invited guests for such an important ceremony.


There's Rear Admiral Joe Fowler, one of Walt's key helpers in realizing Disneyland, on the left. He is presenting a bible to Mrs. Richmond, wife of the officer to our right; he is Vice Adm. Alfred C. Richmond, Coast Guard commandant. And of course there's our pal, Walt Disney, looking on. I'm not sure what that round sticker is on his lapel, but I wish I had one in my collection!


My guess is that they decided to take another picture, only this time Walt offered to hold Mrs. Richmond's glasses. I wonder how she and her husband were chosen to participate in such a momentous occasion!


Whoa, lady! That champagne was for drinking! We can't take you anywhere, honestly. Thank goodness nobody handed her a loaded gun. Just imagine!


Thanks again to the mystery reader who sent these to share!

9 comments:

Katella Gate said...

Somebody should have told Walt to straighten out his tie in between those photos.

Chiana said...

Well dat's what comes of Walt not bringing Lillian, Katella. Crooked ties and goodness knows what other snafus! But maybe he asked, and she said "Oh honestly dear, all this business about sailing ships circling the world admirals and what all; have a good time dear, and don't forget to keep your hair in order and your tie straight." He got one of two, 'taint bad. hehe

Kablooey went the champagne, and with it, expectations for the after dedication party. Ah well. What a grand ship though. Walt must have been as happy and proud as he looks. Long may she sail! (and more often may she sail...)

Chiana said...

And thanks mystery reader for the pics, they're a neat addition to this time machine we have here!

Progressland said...

Major: Alfred C. Richmond, as Commandant, was the highest ranking member of the Coast Guard. While no predecessor of the Coast Guard was yet founded in 1787, when the Columbia set sail, I imagine that the ship's activities would have been of interest to the Coast Guard, had it existed. That's my explanation, anyway!

Davelandweb said...

What a fantastic set of nice and clear shots of this momentous occasion!

Nancy said...

i love seeing pictures of Walt at the park; im looking forward to meeting him myself someday in the far future...

these are really great :)
thanks to both of you for sharing them

fotogogo said...

Dave,

Did you notice the backwards writing on the top? I first thought the picture must be flopped but I don't think so. I believe the admiral's medals are properly located.

The white text id's Adm. Alfred C. Richmond 6-14-58. You can read Disney but I can't make out the rest.

Major Pepperidge said...

Hey fotogogo! Nice to hear from you. Yes, I did notice the backwards writing, and tried to read it like you did. I couldn't glean much more from it than you... since I only have scans given to me, I can't look at the original negative unfortunately.

Give the kids noogies for me!

Anonymous said...

They are my husbands great grandparents. I'm going to share these photos with our family thanks for posting them. - Brittney Richmond