The premier of the USSR arrived in the United States on September 15, 1959 for a summit meeting with President Dwight D. Eisenhower Nikita Khrushchev had made it clear to his handlers and to US State Department officials that he had more on his mind. He wanted to go to Hollywood. It might have been seen as the center of western decadence in his worldview, but Khrushchev wanted to meet movie stars and tour Twentieth Century Fox studios. He got to meet Shirley MacLaine and Frank Sinatra. That same day, September 19, he also wanted to go to Disneyland. What had started out to be a good day for the Russian leader had begun to turn sour. He got into an argument with the staunch anti-communist head of the studios, Spyros Skouras.
What pushed him over the edge was when he was told he would not be allowed not visit Disneyland because of concerns over security. They could not guarantee his safety in the open spaces of the amusement park and could not take the chance that something would happen in spite of heavy security. Khrushchev lost it. He threw a tantrum. Already known as a really fun guy, his childish outburst was impossible to hide.
When you and I have a bad day, it is probable that the whole world is not paying attention. We can have a fit in private. But often there is somebody who notices, perhaps is affected by our loss of control and blast of anger. One little boy lifted this fervent prayer: “Dear God, Is it true my father won’t get in Heaven if he uses his bowling words in the house? Amen.”
James wrote: “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters. You must be all quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires” (James 1:9). Your mother was right:
- Count to ten first.
- Watch your mouth, young man.
- There’s a reason you have two ears and only one mouth.
I am sorry Nikita Khrushchev didn’t get to go to Disney land on September 19, 1959. Somehow it would have been appropriate if he had gotten to ride on Dumbo.