August 6, 1970 – Yippies Invade Disneyland
“The youths, who were participating in what was called a Yippie ‘invasion,’ had shouted obscenities and had pulled down red, white and blue bunting hanging near Disneyland’s make believe City Hall.”
On August 6, 1970, the Youth International Party, known as “Yippies,” held a “takeover” of Disneyland. Among the activies and groups attending included a Black Panther breakfast at the Aunt Jemima Pancake House, a liberation of Minnie Mouse by the Women’s Liberation, and meeting of the Self Defensive Collective at the shooting gallery in Frontierland. As the intention for this day had been made public, Anaheim law enforcement had been placed on high alert and given riot training, as they have been told that the Yippies would be heavily armed and planning an attack on the Bank of America on Main Street. Though it had been predicted that between 20,000 and 200,000 Yippies would show up to the park, only about 300 actually participated in the events.
Though several caused some strange activities that day, nothing serious occurred in the park until about 5pm, when two groups of Yippies boarded the rafts and headed to Tom Sawyer Island. After they replaced the United States Flag with the Yippie flag and attempted to get a rise out of nearby tourists, park officials decided to take a preemptive strike and close the park before there were any altercations between the Yippies and the park guests. As the Yippies were pushed down Main Street, they were greeted with a band of guests singing “God Bless America.” This led to another altercation, and another swift push to get the Yippies out of Disneyland. While there was some minor damage done to the park property, the overall protest did little to disrupt the park’s operations until the early closing.