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March 10

March 10, 1935 – The New York Times Publishes Article: “Mickey Mouse Emerges as Economist”

“One touch of Mickey makes the whole world grin in a very dark hour.”

On March 10, 1935, the New York Times ran an article entitled “Mickey Mouse Emerges as Economist,” with the tagline about how the phenomenal popularity of the character led to “victories in the field of business man and banker.” The article not only spoke to his appeal in the entertainment field across the world, but to the business side as well, especially calling out marketing genius Kay Kamen. The article also featured a picture of Walt Disney, a plush Mickey Mouse, and a mountain of fanmail.

 

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December 8

December 8, 2006 – MarketWatch Names Bob Iger as CEO of the Year

“This is a well-deserved honor for Bob, and indicative of the passion and perseverance he brings to all of him endeavors.” – Peggy Williams, President of Ithica College

On December 8, 2006, MarketWatch released a statement naming Walt Disney Company President and Chief Operating Officer Robert Iger as CEO of the Year. Iger was named thanks to his contributions to the innovation of the entertainment industry; MarketWatch looks at the track record of CEOs in terms of stock price, performance for customers, treatment of employees, and corporate-governance initiatives. One of the major initiatives that led to this honor for Iger was the careful negotiations for Disney to buy Pixar for $7 billion, extending an olive branch to the company that had suffered a fractured relationship with Disney for quite some time.

August 31

August 31, 2005 – The Walt Disney Company Pledges $2.5 Million for Hurricane Katrina Relief

“We hope that our donation will aid emergency management teams and organizations in their efforts to provide assistance to those impacted.” – Then-CEO of the Walt Disney Company Michael Eisner

On August 31, 2005, the Walt Disney Company sent out a press release announcing that it had pledged a $2.5 million contribution to the rebuilding efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina. A million of the money pledged would go to the American Red Cross for immediate relief, another million would be sent to selected children’s charities, and $500,000 would go to volunteer centers that provided services to the communities most affected by the hurricane.

July 25

July 25, 2007 – Disney Announces Discouragement of Smoking in Films

“We discourage depictions of cigarette smoking in Disney, Touchstone, and Miramax films.” – Disney President and CEO Robert A. Iger

On July 25, 2007, The Walt Disney Company made an official announcement that they will no longer depict smoking in any of their films. In a letter sent to U.S. Representative Edward J. Markey, Chairman of the House Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee, Disney President and CEO Bob Iger wrote that the company will not only prevent depictions of smoking in films, but will also place an anti-smoking ad on any DVD release of a film that features cigarette smoking. Although the company had made this direction known since 2004, this was the first official announcement of the company’s intent.

January 28

January 28, 1980 – Oriental Land Company Granted Loans to Build Disney Park

On January 28, 1980, it was announced that the Oriental Land Company was granted several loans to build the first international Disney park in Tokyo, Japan. The Industrial Bank of Japan was the main lender, along with nearly 30 other Japanese banks. Although the size of the loans were not released, it was estimated that the overall cost of the park was $300 million. The plans were approved by the Chiba Prefecture ten months later, and the groundbreaking then took place on December 3, 1980.

January 28

January 28, 1942 – The Federal Government Releases Press Statement About Disney-Designed Emblem

“…the four freedoms pledged in the Atlantic Charter and later by the United Nations are freedom of speech and expression, freedom of every person to worship God in his own way, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.”

On January 28, 1942, the Federal Government released a press statement about the Disney-designed emblem for the Department of Agriculture. Created by Disney artist Hank Porter, the emblem featured an eagle flying over a cargo ship, and was meant to be added to labels to signify that the food came from the United States, particularly when sent overseas through the Lend-Lease program. The emblem found itself on cans of lima beans, canned meat, and packed apples.

September 19

September 19, 1966 – Walt Disney Holds Final Press Conference

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“Walt’s plan for the picturesque area, located about equidistant from Los Angeles and San Francisco, provides for year-round recreational activities by people of all ages and athletic abilities.”

On September 19, 1966, Walt Disney held what was to eventually be his last press conference. Walt, who had not been doing well for the past few months, was announcing his plans for developing the Mineral King Valley as a ski resort. Inspired after the filming of Third Man on the Mountain, Walt had been developing the ski idea for several years. In 1965, after the United States Forest Service called for bids on the Mineral King Valley, Disney won the thirty-year lease by bidding $35 million. Walt quickly set to work to create plans for the January 1969 due date, which included fourteen ski lifts, a self-contained village, two hotels, a heliport, and many other amenities. Walt also forbade vehicles from the area, preferring that guests park at the entrance and be taken into the valley by other means. The press conference also featured California Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, with Walt and Brown making their statements. Afterwards, Walt rested a moment inside the general store before taking photos Brown then heading back to Visalia. Less than three months later, Walt would pass away, and the plans for the area fell through due to opposition to the development of the property. Mineral King Valley then reverted back to the parks service in1978, when Congress annexed it back to Sequoia National Park.