July 17, 1955: Disneyland opens.

On the dedication day of “the Happiest Place on Earth”, nearly 30,000 people showed up - some of them guests, and some of them owners of counterfeit tickets. The event was televised nationally, anchored by three men, including one Ronald Reagan. Alas, a series of problems marred the happiness of the day (which came to be known by Disney execs as “Black Sunday”) - as  the temperature rose, soda fountains ran dry, food ran out, traffic backed up, and a gas leak forced four lands to close. The true opening day came on July 18, when the public was invited to experience the park. 

Fifty-three-year-old Walt Disney read this statement to dedicate his new park:

To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here, age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.

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