Last week, we started a new weekly Disney history column aptly named ‘This Week in Disney History.’ Each week we will highlight significant events or milestons that happened during that week in the history of the Walt Disney Company. Not all events will be listed, as these are just some of the highlights. The events listed may not necessarily be the most important events in Disney history, but are intended to give you just a bit of information to broaden your knowledge.
This Week in Disney History: February 19th-February 25th
- On February 19th, 1985 – Mickey Mouse visited China to surprise Chinese nationals in honor of Disneyland’s 30th anniversary. He traveled to 30 different cities in 30 days.
- On February 20th, 1985 – the original voice for Donald Duck for over 50 years, Clarence Nash, passed away at age 80. He was not only the voice of Donald, but also Daisy Duck, and Donald’s nephews (Huey, Dewey, and Louie).
- On February 21st, 1955 – the voice of Stinky Pete from Toy Story 2 and Disneyland 50th Anniversary host Kelsey Grammer was born in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.
- February 21st, 2010 – Walt Disney’s Broadway production of The Lion King, celebrated a very important milestone; their 5,125th performance, making it the 8th longest running show in Broadway history!
- February 22nd, 1971 – Maria Lea Carmen Imutan Salonga was born in the Philippines. Lea was the singing voice of Mulan in Disney’s Mulan, as well as the singing voice of Princess Jasmine in Disney’s Aladdin.
- February 23rd, 1939 – Walt Disney received an honorary Oscar at the 11th Academy Awards for ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’. The custom-made statuette consisted of one standard Oscar statuette standing over seven minurature statuettes.
- February 23rd, 2000 – Phil Collins, the composer for Disney’s ‘Tarzan’, wins a Grammy for his work on the film.
- February 23rd, 2016 – Walt Disney World’s first permanent employee, Phil Smith, passes at age 83.
- February 24th, 1940 – one of the most famous songs in Disney History, ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’, from the movie ‘Pinnochio’, was recorded by Frances Langord.
- February 25th, 2012 – Walt Disney Imagineering and cast members from Disney California Adventure buried a time capsule containing items from the park. The capsule will not be opened by Disneyland Resort cast members until 2037.
“I love the nostalgic myself. I hope we never lose some of the things from the past.” -Walt Disney