The animated character Mickey Mouse, long the symbol of the Walt Disney Company, debuts in the cartoon short “Steamboat Willie” on this day in 1928. “Steamboat Willie” was the third cartoon short featuring Mickey, but the first to enter distribution. The short was also one of the first to feature synchronized sound, with Walt Disney performing all of the voices. “Willie” also introduced Mickey’s girlfriend Minnie, and was a parody of the Buster Keaton comedy, “Steamboat Bill Jr.”

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