Marine Corps Day in Burbank, 1968
by Wes Clark
It's 1968. Anti-war protests are held with alarming regularity in major cities across the United States, and rifts are opening in society across economic, ethnic and generational lines. But what's happening in Burbank?
It's Marine Corps Day! Far from ostracizing these brave men, the city fathers organized a celebration at the recently completed Golden Mall. Disney Studios arranged for Goofy and Pluto to attend, local pretty girls served as tour guides (I'm sure the Marines appreciated that), and Bob Hope greeted the visiting warriors. What a gala affair!
I was in the Marines from 1974 to 1978, and was stationed for three years at Camp Pendleton. I attended the 1975 Marines Day affair at the Golden Mall on 15 March - but was not bussed in from a local base; I was at home that weekend. However, I don't recall any pretty girls serving as tour guides... and we didn't get Bob Hope, we got Danny Bonaduce. So I left.
I don't recall many welcoming people on the infrequent occasions I had to be out and about in my uniform; the poison spread by the anti-war protestors had taken hold in society in general. (In fact, I was once told "We're not fond of Marines here," in Palm Springs.)
Does Burbank still hold Marines Day? If not, when was the last, I wonder.
High school choir performs
A group of pretty tour guides awaits
The Marine Band plays
Goofy and Pluto attend the festivities
Golden Mall tour given by young lady
Marines given car tours
Lunch with pretty girls
More pretty tour guides
Marine brass in attendance
Marine officer with city officials
Marines mill around at Golden Mall
More tour guides
Lunch with tour guides
Bob Hope addresses the crowd
Bob Hope (close up)
Marines listen to Bob Hope
Some associated newspaper clippings: