On my very first visit to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, many years ago, I did a bit of research on the profound friendship shared by Ronald Reagan and Walt Disney. The bond was so strong, that Walt asked Reagan be one of the opening day hosts for Disneyland (along with Bob Cummings [center] and Art Linkletter [right]) for the ninety-minute coast-to-coast live television broadcast on July 17, 1955. Reagan was flattered and willingly obliged.
After Walt’s passing, Reagan (then Governor of California) recommended that a United States postage stamp be issued to honor Walt. In his 1967 letter to the Postmaster General, Reagan declared his feelings about his old friend:
“I hesitate to even mention California’s pride in his vast accomplishments for fear of detracting from his true image as a world-renowned and world-beloved figure. There is no necessity for me to itemize his contributions to humanity; they can be summed up by simply saying that because of him the world is a richer, better place.”