Walt Disney dreams up Mickey on a cross-country train trip. The little mouse makes his film debut in Steamboat Willie on November 18, the date later recognized as his birthday. The black-and-white short also features his gal pal Minnie.
Mickey speaks his first words in The Karnival Kid. Walt Disney provides the voice.
Mickey stars in a comic strip, “Lost on a Desert Island,” and a book, The Mickey Mouse Book. Mickey merchandising begins—his toothless grin appears on writing tablets.
Mickey stars in 87 cartoon shorts.
Walt Disney receives a special Academy Award (Oscar) for the creation of Mickey.
Mickey is celebrated on the Mickey Mouse Ingersoll wristwatch, manufactured by the Waterbury Watch Co. By the end of the year, nearly a million are sold.
Mickey makes his first appearance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The same year, Mickey gets his own entry in the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Mickey appears in his first color cartoon, The Band Concert. The same year, the League of Nations calls him “an international symbol of goodwill.”
Mickey appears in Fantasia, his first feature film, as the sorcerer’s apprentice.
The Allied troops use Mickey’s name as the code word for their D-Day mission.
The Mickey Mouse Club and its “Mouseketeers” debut on television on October 3. The variety show runs until 1959. Annette Funicello is the most famous of this original group. The same year, California’s Disneyland opens and becomes Mickey’s official home.
The New Mickey Mouse Club hits television on January 17. It runs for one season. Lisa Whelchel (from the Facts of Life) is among the new Mouseketeers.
Mickey celebrates his 50th birthday in a 90-minute television special.