On this day in 1965, Walt Disney and Joe Potter (an engineering and logistical planning genius) visited the Walt Disney World site in Florida. This visit came the day after the big Florida news conference that confirmed Disney was indeed building a vacation kingdom near Orlando.
Potter, who would become known to many as "Mister Disney" for his liaison work between the park and surrounding communities during the 1960s and 1970s, was a retired U.S. Army major general when Walt first recruited him to oversee the early construction of the park. Potter's job was to transform 300 acres of land into the Magic Kingdom - while preserving the area's ecology and beauty. Walt was confident in Potter's ability, as he had served as Governor of the Panama Canal Zone - governing a community of over 40,000 people!
Potter oversaw construction of Disney World's entire infrastructure, including underground sewer, power and water treatment plants that were considered revolutionary at the time. He also developed drainage canals for the entire property, which came to be known as "Joe's ditches."
Ironically Joe Potter passed away in 1988 on December 5 ... the birth date of his famous boss.
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