“Court Case Friday”
Over the decades, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sponsored annual “Mormon Nights” at Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium, and Disneyland. (Disneyland routinely scheduled nighttime”private parties” from 7pm to 1am on non-peak days. “General Public not admitted.”)
There were discount tickets. For example, in 1970 the tickets for “Mormon Night” at Disneyland were $3.75 per person, and in 1980 the tickets were $6.00 per person.
Around 1987, my colleagues in the OC DA’s Office teased me because one of the first murders in Disneyland history took place on “Mormon Night.” Because of us Latter-day Saints, they mocked, Disneyland was no longer “The Happiest Place on Earth.”
On “Mormon Night,” two rival gangs of Pacific Islanders (not necessarily LDS members) confronted each other in the Disneyland parking lot. A melee ensued. A 15-year-old was shot to death.
It was a PR disaster for Disneyland and the LDS Church.
Sometime thereafter, local church leaders stopped sponsoring “Mormon Night” at Disneyland. I couldn’t locate the last date of “Mormon Night.” Nor could I determine whether there was any causal connection with the cancellation and murder.
Whether we do what’s right, or whether we do what’s wrong, the consequences will follow. And those consequences can be far-reaching.