I've watched a tremendous amount of Disney movies and cartoons over the course of my life. One thing I never knew about the face of Disney is that the woman who gave Mickey Mouse his name was born 400 miles north of Twin Falls, Idaho.

I was born eight miles from Disneyland. When my father came home from the Vietnam War he landed a security job with Disneyland in Anaheim, California. My brother and I grew up with all access to the theme park. It provided some of the best memories in my life.

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Walt Disney might be the most beloved, influential human being to ever live. While it is true his illustrations gave birth to a figure that became known as Mickey Mouse, it was actually the love of his life who named the most famous and iconic character of all time.

Lillian Marie Disney was born in Spalding, Idaho. She became Walt's wife in July of 1925, and the two had a pair of daughters. Part of their wedding ceremony took place in the northwest Idaho communities of Spalding and Lewiston. They were married for 41 years until Walt died in 1966.

The home Lillian lived in and celebrated the marriage to Walt still stands. It's a fact that Lillian came up with "Mickey" as the name for Walt's newly-created mouse character during a road trip. So, in a way, the world can thank the state of Idaho for the birth of Mickey Mouse.

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