Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Liberty Square, November 1971

If you look at the very first souvenir wall maps that were sold at Disneyland in 1958, you'll see two side streets that branch off of Main Street U.S.A. One was "Edison Square", and the other was "Liberty Street". Neither one was actually built in Anaheim, though their concepts lived on. Edison Square morphed into the "Carousel of Progress", while Liberty Street became "Liberty Square" in the Magic Kingdom.

I love this beautiful shot of the Drum and Fife Corps, marching in the brilliant November sunshine. The flag is known as the "Grand Union Flag", and it indicated that the second Continental Congress still hoped for a reconciliation with Britain. 

Mr. X did a wonderful job with this photo. I think it might even be "postcard worthy"!


Meanwhile, crowds gather outside the Hall of Presidents. Richard Nixon was President when the park opened. He was not a crook! I love the look at the people and the way they dressed in 1971... let's classify this one as "souvenir guidebook worthy".


And finally, I don't think I'll get many complaints for this nice view of the Haunted Mansion, set back from the riverbank. Look at the queue, extending out of the picture to our right. 

I think that might be a haunted rowboat to our left! 


35 comments:

Nanook said...

Major-

Let's face it - both of those first two images (if not the third) are 'postcard worthy'.

Thanks to you & Mr. X-!

K. Martinez said...

The first image is a beauty with the Fife and Drum Corps colorful uniforms, the Grand Union Flag and to top it off, the Haunted Mansion in the distance. I love it!

Love "The Hall of Presidents" sign in the second image and the architecture of the attraction facade. Nice details! There's just something special about Liberty Square.

Also, in the third image to the right of the Haunted Mansion behind the hill is the top of the Fantasyland Skyway Chalet and part of the Small world Building to the far right.

I love the open views of early Walt Disney World. Thanks, Major & Mr. X!

Melissa said...

They're ALL postcard-worthy this time! I don't think I've ever seen a line like that at the Hall of Presidents. I was disappointed to learn that the ballroom at the Contemporary Resort where Nixon made his famous "I am not a crook" speech had been remodeled and divided into smaller conference rooms.

The Fife and Drum corps is sorely missed.

Nothing better than a haunted rowboat for an afternoon of skulling.

TokyoMagic! said...

I like how Mr. X caught the leader (drum major?) of the Fife and Drum Corps with his baton floating in mid-air.

And I want to go on a Haunted Rowboat Ride! They could have called it The Haunted River Expedition.

Chuck said...

The dark-haired woman with the bouffant in the second image foreground looks enough like my mother-in-law that I did a long double-take before deciding it wasn't her (I hope I didn't make her feel uncomfortable). It wouldn't be impossible as my in-laws (with my then-infant wife) made their first visit to the MK in 1971. Now I need to go back and look at all of Mr X's Nov 1971 photos to see if they're there. There goes my day...

Stuart Powley said...

Ah the Haunted Mansion before the covered queue (good thing) and LONG before the "interactive queue (absolute stinkin' disaster).

Pegleg Pete said...

I love them all, but that last one of the Haunted Mansion with the (relatively) bare landscaping is my fave. Even from several thousand miles away, I can hear the wolves howling on the river approach! And there's one of those bouys again as a bonus. Thanks, Major and Mr X!

JC Shannon said...

It's a beautiful day at the Park. Great photos, I love the Drum and Fife Corps
scan, definately postcard worthy. Check out the boy with the purple pants, I am so jealous. I will be making up stories about the rowboat for the rest of the day! Thanks Major for the great pics.

Stefano said...

Very attractive photos. I've never been to WDW, but the Colonial reconstructions here look similar to much of Ports O' Call in San Pedro, California----which sadly has been shuttered and is facing the wrecking ball. The planned replacement looks as enticing as Tomorrowland'98.

Chuck said...

Stefano, Ports O' Call Village looked like a really neat place. My only exposure to it was in John Wayne's 1970 NBC TV special Swing Out, Sweet Land, where it stood in for Colonial America as a backdrop to what has to be the most, er, unusual presentation of the Declaration of Independence I've ever seen.

If you're interested, the special is available on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nb848Uo8wPo. The Declaration of Independence sequence starts at 19:48, although it's worth watching John Wayne's introduction beginning at 18:50. While presented as being shot at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, the palm tree in the background at 19:00 tells us it was actually shot at Knott's Berry Farm.

Melissa said...

Slightly to the left of center in the second picture, there’s a young woman eating popcorn and wearing red plaid pants and a matching vest. My other grandmother had a nearly identical pantsuit when I was little. It was her default “dressing up” outfit.

David Zacher said...

I still haven't been to Walt Disney World but I got the 1971 Unofficial Guide back then and still enjoy looking at it. Where does the time go? I do plan to go some day but I guess I'll need a couple of weeks to do it right.

Thanks for the glimpse of the past,

dz

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I have complimented Mr. X on the quality of these photos many times!

K. Martinez, while I’m sure that one could take similarly bright and colorful photos at the Magic Kingdom today, these have a quality that is so appealing. Some of it is the retro clothing, but the park feels so fresh and new. Thanks for pointing out the Skyway chalet and the Small World show building.

Melissa, Mr. X says he thinks that it is time for the Hall of Presidents to go (for the record, he has been saying that for many years, not just recently). I wonder if people have ever requested the “I am not a crook” ballroom for their event (not knowing that it doesn’t really exist anymore, of course)??

TokyoMagic, I wonder if Mr. X intended to get the baton in mid-air, or if it just happened by accident. And I’m all for more haunted rides!

Chuck, so your wife went to the Magic Kingdom when she was just a tiny tot? She should get free admission for life, or something like that. How do we make that happen?

Stuart Powley, part of me appreciates the desire to add some entertainment to the queue, but from what I have seen, it is just wrong-headed in its execution. Shoehorned in, illogical, etc. Now, instead of approaching a gloomy mansion, one feels like they are approaching an amusement park ride with fun stuff along the way so that one doesn’t get bored.

Pegleg Pete, do they play sound effects of howling wolves?!?

Jonathan, I admit, I don’t see too many guys wearing purple pants these days!

Stefano, I’d heard about Ports O’Call, what a shame. My grandmother used to love to go there, but I never have been. I need to go online and see what monstrosity they will be building in its place.

Chuck, oh man, a 1970 TV special… now I know what I will be watching later tonight! Will it be as excruciating as I anticipate? What forgotten celebrities will be making appearances? Is there a laugh track? Does John Wayne sing? Hopefully the commercials of the era are included. I can’t wait.

Melissa, maybe that is your grandmother, and she’s about to bump into Chuck’s mother in-law!

Patrick Devlin said...

Here's where I'd put my complaints about that shot of the Mansion and that nice open landscape. But I have absolutely no complaints because I love that type of shot be it here, in Florida, or maybe in Anaheim during some of the early days when the terrain was nice and open. Nosirree, not from me...

Chuck said...

The only recognition my wife has ever received for her inaugural year visit was a stick-on button reading "Guest of Honor 1971" that she received at the 25th Anniversary Welcome Center (the former Gulf Hospitality House) in 1996. No free admission, but it's still kinda cool.

I'll let you form your own impressions of Swing Out, Sweet Land. I enjoyed it, but I remember enough of what TV variety shows were like back then to go in with a realistic set of expectations. You seem to be well prepared.

Pegleg Pete said...

Major, you certainly used to be able to hear the sound of howling wolves as you passed the Haunted Mansion at the end of your journey around the Rivers Of America – it was one of the things which really stuck with me from childhood visits to the park in the '70s. I hope you can still hear them, but as it's been almost 15 years since I've been to WDW, I can't say whether of not they've kept up the sound effects.

steve2wdw said...

Another great batch of early WDW photos.....these made my day! The first photo features a few forgotten details that have either changed or disappeared. The cobblestone work in the middle of the walkway was meant to represent the refuse streams that flowed down the center of colonial streets. These stones have been replaced by a more even surface (probably due to the stones being a tripping hazard, along with this being the major parade route), although they've made them light brown, so the concept of the streams still exist. The other feature that's disappeared is the "grassy knoll" on the right. Originally there was a block of buildings to go in this spot, creating a few more alley ways (like New Orleans Square), but the block was never constructed. Within a few years, this area was taken up by the covered queue for the Hall of Presidents.

Which leads us to the second photo....the grassy knoll can be seen behind the crowd in this photo, along with the original entrance to the HoP. When the covered queue was added, an overhang was created above the three arches in this photo, so this is a great shot of that original exterior.

The third photo is just awesome, because it's awesome. It's amazing that that barren little piece of island is now a fully grown-in Tom Sawyer Island. The little spit of land in this photo, is the spot where the southern end of the suspension bridge is located (it stretches out of frame to the left-north), which connects the two pieces of TSI. The Haunted Mansion stands really tall without the lush foliage that now surrounds it.

Once again, great photos!

David Zacher said...

People watching. 70's hip huggers near the Hall of Presidents. Gotta love 'em.

Patrick Devlin said...

Wow, Melissa I had no idea that's where NIxon's famous speech was delivered. Yes, GDB: come for the pictures, stay for the history lesson.

Melissa said...

I love the HoP and would hate to see it go away, but I do believe that adding a speech by the sitting president was a misstep. I'd love to see the show edited down to its original format where only Lincoln speaks. With U.S. politics being what they are, you're going to alienate half the audience no matter who's in office at the moment. And while people can and do enjoy a little history, they don't want to think about current events during their vacation from the real world.

The wolf/dog/coyote howls used to be pretty subtle, but I think they've gotten louder and more frequent as the THIS IS AN AMUSEMENT PARK SPOOKHOUSE!!! d├ęcor started to pile up out front. Or maybe you just notice them more now, as a part of the whole effect. I would love the chance to go to Tokyo and visit their relatively unspoiled Mansion and relive the experience.

steve2wdw said...

Melissa....I completely agree with the "misstep" of adding a speech by the sitting president. The updated show is awesome, and even though the current president speech is usually pretty neutral, the majesty of the show is somehow diminished when the current president speaks. It's not just a Trump thing, I haven't liked the idea all the way back to Clinton.

I should mention that during my visit last month, I visited HoP twice....and the theatre was at least 3/4 full for each presentation. The show is still a draw.

Major Pepperidge said...

David Zacher, they already had an unofficial guide in 1971? I had no idea!

Patrick Devlin, I can always find something to complain about.

Chuck, yes, I want to be a Guest of Honor. You’re right, I have enough memories of TV specials from those years to have a general idea of what to expect. Disney park TV specials were (somehow) among the worst.

Pegleg Pete, what a cool detail, thanks for letting me know about it!

steve2wdw, it’s funny, I actually was wondering why they had that pathway with the different cobbles. I had no idea it represented an open trench of filth! Does that count as a “hard fact”? I think I see the grassy knoll, it looks very pretty. Bummer it has been removed, though it’s no surprise I guess. Thanks for pointing out that tip of Tom Sawyer Island… I figured it was the island, but didn’t know that it is now where the suspension bridge is located. Great comment!

David Zacher, the crowd looks pretty clean-cut for 1970 - I guess all the hippies were engaged in other activities.

Patrick Devlin, did you also know that John Lennon signed the papers to officially break up The Beatles while he was staying at the Polynesian Resort? It’s one of those “fun facts” that is pretty crazy.

Melissa, do you happen to know when they started having each sitting President add a speech? I’m betting my vast fortune on Clinton, but it’s just a guess. If only there was some repository of knowledge that I could access. To the lie-berry! After Pegleg Pete’s mention of the wolf howls, I think I recall seeing a video with Tony Baxter in front of the Florida Haunted Mansion, and hearing those wolf cries. Meanwhile, let’s all go to Tokyo!

stu29573 said...

I think the official name of the wolf howls is "Hell Hound" but I may be mistaken. If I am, it doesn't matter because I'll still call it that anyway. So there.
And HBG2 does a great job of explaining just why that new queue is so stupid over at Long Forgotten....

Nanook said...

@ Chuck-

They had me at Doodletown Pipers...

JC Shannon said...

To me the Haunted Mansion at WDW doesn't hold a candle to the Disneyland version. The WDW Mansion looks more like a manor house in Sussex, while the Disneyland version looks more spooky and ominous in the haunted French Quarter of New Orleans. Just my opinion, no disrespect intended for the WDW version.

Chuck said...

Here's the Long-Forgotten write-up Stu references: https://longforgottenhauntedmansion.blogspot.com/2011/05/decadence.html.

Chuck said...

Nanook, :-)

David Zacher said...

Unofficial guide? Birnbaum? Now I have to look for it.

dz

Stefano said...

Thanks, Chuck, I will have to see the patriotic Duke. Ports O' Call was used as a backlot for some TV shows set in the 1700s, can't think of the titles. And the Buena Park Independence Hall is authentic down to the fingerprints pressed in the hand-crafted bricks.

Patrick Devlin said...

Like I said, Major: Stay for the history.

Melissa said...

Yeah; I used to say I preferred the DL interior and the WDW exterior, but now I prefer DL in both respects.

Nancy said...

What's left to say? Incredible views today, sunshine abounds!!! :D

stu29573 said...

Thanks!

Dean Finder said...

Having the current President speak was added during the Clinton administration. I'd agree that it's not the best idea. A few people behind me made some comments I won't repeat here during Obama's speech when I was there a few years ago.

Melissa said...

I've only watched the opening credits of "Swing Out, Sweet Land," but already I can tell it's going to be a masterpiece of 1970's TV weirdness.

Dean Martin? Is he going to tell us about the Whiskey Rebellion of 1791?