Disneyland USA

Orange County Police Invade

Date: August 6, 1970*

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1. Confrontation on Main Street
News cameraman in middle-ground.

2. Police take Main Street
No Yippies yet
Published Los Angeles Times, Sunday, July 17, 2005, p. B4

LATimes Caption: "Mickey Meets Yippie: Anaheim police in riot gear line Main Street in August 1970 after 300 Yippies invaded the park, ran roughshod and hoisted the Viet Cong flag on Tom Sawyer Island. Eighteen were arrested, mostly for gate crashing or disturbing the peace.

3. Near Entry Gate

4. Bridge to Tom Sawyer's Island. Can you find the Hippies/Yippies?

On this day in 1970 a group of "hippies" obtained entrance to Disneyland in Anaheim California. They ran rampant over the park, attempting to claim "Tom Sawyer's Island" for themselves. Disneyland, not knowing how to handle this breach of customary etiquette, called in the Orange County Police who arrived in full riot gear. The park was closed and all visitors were asked to depart, leaving Disneyland empty except for the remaining hippies. This was the first time the park was closed early. Earlier Disneyland was infamous for its policy of refusing entry to young men wearing beards, a common practice in California and especially in some cities of Orange County. No rain-check was given to the departing visitors.

The top two photographs were taken on Main Street. The police seized control of Main Street in order to usher the crowds (and presumably to inspect them) out of the park. Behind the central officer in the top photograph a news photographer is hoisting a film camera over his head. The bottom image was taken near the entry gate.

*8.10.2000: Thanks to Scott Michael pblead@owc.net for the exact date of August 6, 1970.

Citations and Links:

Anaheim Police Department Chronicle - 1970s



As adapted from a note  by Stephen J.Morris:
The year was 1970 in the Summer. This was a protest by the "Youth International Party" to make a statement against Disney's policies against long hair and mini skirts. Known as Yippies, they managed to take over Tom Sawyers Island and raise the Viet Cong flag, while smoking pot. This was documented in Jerry Rubin's book We are everywhere. I believe it is out of print. ... They had National Guards in the park. On that day, they closed the park down -- the first since the Kennedy assassination in 63.

Adapted from a note sent by Jeff R, 11/25/2005:
I was there protesting also. I read the police account of events, but what they fail to mention is that it was they who started the confrontation on Main Street...not the protesters. I will never forget a young lady whose head was split open, blood dripping all over her face, because she attempted to march back up Main Street. We were chanting..."Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh, Teddy Kennedy Fucks and Swims". Guess we did not view Ted Kennedy as much of a Liberal back then. I still do not.

The story is also related (reputedly) in Mouse Tales, by David Koenig.
Paperback - 239 pages Reprint edition (July 1995) Bonaventure Pr; ISBN: 0964060566
Find it at
Amazon Books

Kimi Yoshino and Dave McKibben (Times Staff Writers), "A Park with a Powerful Spell" (on the 50th anniversary of Disneyland). Los Angeles Times (California), Sunday, July 17th, 2005, p. B1, ff. This article publishes photograph number 2, above -- on p. B4.

Powers, Charles T. and Bill Hazlett.   "Disneyland Closed 6 Hours Early by Longhair Invasion." Los Angeles Times.  7 August 1970, p. 1.

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