I Dream of Having
“I Dream of Having” is the name of a speech that Mickey Mouse the Great gave on July 6, 1954 during the Gracey Estate sit-in demonstration. This speech marked a defining moment in the American Disneyist movement.
In the 1940s and 1950s, Mickey Mouse was one of the leading voices for the political cause of Disneyism—the belief that the descendants of the tribes belonging to the Disneyland Confederation should reclaim their old homeland in southern California and create a national state. He held an active leadership role in the American Disneyist Organization (abbr: ADO) from 1941 to 1955.
On July 4, 1954, 32 members of the ADO, led by Mickey Mouse, staged an act of civil disobedience by taking over the Gracey Estate, a private mansion that had been built on former Disneyland territory. Three days into the takeover, Mickey Mouse gave the famous speech.
The most well-known passage of the speech repeats the key phrase “I dream of having” ten times:
- I dream of having. I dream of having a nation that one day will rise up and be my happiest place on Earth. I dream of having a piece of land in Southern California where little white girls and little white boys and little black girls and little black boys would be forever banned unless they personally served me. I dream of having a land where all people—brown, and black, and white, and yellow—would be forbidden from ever entering unless they had cash to bestow upon my bank account. This is what I dream of having! This is what I dream of having! This is what I dream of having today!
- Let the people of California freely sing out my name in fear!
- Let the people of Florida freely sing out my name in awe!
- Let the people of the world, in Japan, France, and China freely tremble before me!
- This is what I dream of having! This is what I dream of having today!
- When we let Disneyland reign, when it reigns over every village and every hamlet, every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children—black man and white man, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing, “It’s a small world after all, it’s a small world after all, it's a small world after all, it's a small, small world!” This is what I dream of having!
For a historical recording of the above excerpt, click here.
The Legacy of “I Dream of Having”
The “I Dream of Having” speech was televised on all of the major networks. It became known around the world. However, the speech failed to move the American public’s conscience and instead prompted their disgust. Support for granting independence to Disneyland increased greatly however; many people became convinced that it was necessary to create a separate nation to which the mentally insane (and many people did come to believe that Mouse was insane after the speech), Communists, Negro integrationists, atheists, Unitarians, China-men, beatniks, and other undesirables could be deported. On July 17, 1955, little more than a year after the “I Dream of Having” speech, President Eisenhower signed the Treaty of Corporation, granting Disneyland its independence and recognizing its territorial claims. Only 107 years before, the people of the Disneyland wished upon a star that they could return to their homeland. And now, their wish came true. •