February 28 – Jack Lindquist, first president of Disneyland, dies at the age of 88.
Jack was born in Chicago. In his first years, he was a child actor, participating as an extra in several episodes of the Our Gang film series. He also appeared in 2 movies, “Best foot forward” and “The little princess”.
Later, he joined in the U.S. Air Force where he served 2 years. He attended upper education at the University of Southern California. When he completed his education, Jack began gaining experience in the field of advertisement.
Two months after Disneyland’s official opening, Jack Lindquist started working with the mouse company as their first marketing manager. It’s in this company where he showed his real talent and cemented the basis of the art of attraction promotion.
In his 38-year career, he established many things that are used in the entertainment advertisement nowadays.
Disneyland’s first New Year event was going to be huge, but to justify the cost of the event at least 6000 tickets had to be sold. Selling this amount of tickets from the park gates was unlikely. Jack solved this by creating the advanced ticket purchase. Around ten local stores sold the tickets in advance and they actually manage to pre-sale 5000 tickets. This was the first time a company in the theme park industry attempted to do that and nowadays is a common practice among entertainment events.
The Grad night is also one of Jack’s legacies. This event is carried away once a year, students from all around the United States celebrate their graduation in the theme park. The event has been so successful that the tradition expanded to Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris.
Jack was also the first one to use an anniversary as a marketing tool. In 1985, the Olympic Games were to take place in Los Angeles. In order to catch some of the customer flow, he worked with General Motors to distribute 106 cars as a giveaway among the visitors. The prizes and gifts attracted around 12 million people to Disneyland that year, 3 million more than the previous year.
Jack was also the mastermind behind the Disney dollar. This currency can be used in any of the Disneyland parks or Disney world facilities. He served as the first president of Disneyland since 1990 until his retirement in 1993.
A window above City Hall on Main Street U.S.A. reads: “J.B. Lindquist, Honorary mayor of Disneyland, Jack of all trades. Master of fun.”
Source: The OC Register