Published: 10th November 2021
What happened on November 10: Walt Disney embarks on a mission of his own
While we were in awe of Walt Disney's imagination, the creator of Mickey Mouse was living his childhood fantasy of working for the FBI, of all people. This is a bitter pill to swallow
We speak today of Walt Disney, not to celebrate one of his many famous creations, but to let you in on a little secret. For November 10, 1941 was the date when Walt Disney agreed to become an informant for the FBI. For children to be fascinated by the world of espionage and law enforcement services is, but natural. It is perhaps fitting that the man who cooked up the cosy characters of so many of our childhoods, retained his obsession with the Federal Bureau of Investigation throughout his lifetime.
Union activities were on the rise in America, and with the Cold War in progress with the USSR, it was Disney who approached the Bureau to offer his services, to provide inside information on the comings and goings in Hollywood. He furnished reports on some big-ticket actors, directors, producers, and members of various unions, although these names were never made public. Such was Disney dedication to his operation, that he was promoted as a Special Agent. He even wrote a full episode of Mickey Mouse Club paying a veritable tribute to the 'justice' meted out by the federal agency.
Even disturbing is the fact that official documents suggest that Disney was intent on normalising an Orwellian society, and wanted to include federal espionage and surveillance in Tomorrowland, which was a feature at Disneyland, depicting what the future is going to be like for, and you must remember this, children.
Doesn't seem all that Goofy now, does it?
Speaking of cartoon, Sesame Street premiered on November 10, 1969. The first episode of the well-loved kids' show was written by Jon Stone and premiered on PBS. Dubbed as a preschool educational programme, it was credited as the first to base its content on scientific and formative research. It has been produced in over 70 languages worldwide.