The year was 1962, and Jay Ward, along with publicist Brandy, were set out on a coast-to-coast road trip from Hollywood to Washington D.C.. The plan was to help promote "The Bullwinkle Show" on NBC. To kick off this publicity stunt, Jay had bought a small island on the USA-Canadian coast. Only a few miles big, it was real enough to be called Moosylvania, from which Ward and Brandy traveled the country in a van covered with " Statehood for Moosylvania" propaganda posted everywhere. To sweeten the deal, Brady dressed up as Canadian Mountie, Dudley-Doright, while Jay dawned a wacky operatic admiral outfit. All across the nation they stopped into towns and promoted that right to make Moosylvania the 51st state of the USA. Signatures were collected along the way, while Ward and company whipped up the Moosylvanian manifesto, which stated such doctrines as:
- State aid from the U.S. in the amount of eighteen billion dollars and four cents (They insist the government pay for the postage of its own check).
- The chief spokesperson is Governor Bullwinkle Moose.
- Moosylvania will present a daily program appealing to the public's love of audience participation shows, games of chance, and violence.
- The government will be set up using a strict two-party system. One party will start at nine and the other at eleven thirty. Both will break at five a.m..
This is just a sampling of the entire drafted description that Jay wrote for the proposal. That fall Ward and Brandy drove up to the gate of the White House with a bundle of signatures and the proposal in hand, awaiting to see the president. The guards quickly acted in raising weapons to the two costumed men at the gate. When Jay asked to see president Kennedy, he was shouted at to "get out!" by the guard. On the radio an announce warned that the country would be going to war in 24 hours, on the eve of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The entire location was under high security.
Although the embarrassment passed for Jay Ward, he used the unique opportunity to gather up the press after the threat from Cuba was over. News coverage told of their road trip, and the real fact was presented to the viewers, "Why not let Moosylvania become a state?". The absurdity of the question sparked talk, and was able to accomplish what it was meant to...to promote the show for the fall season.