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1906 Jan
Lee De Forest filed a patent for diode vacuum tube detector, a two-electrode device for detecting electromagnetic waves, a variant of the Fleming valve invented two years earlier. A year later, he filed a patent for a 3-electrode device that was a much more sensitive detector of electromagnetic waves. It was granted US Patent 879,532 in February 1908 and paved the way for the radio and television industry.
Links: USA, TV, Radio, Inventor, Patent     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1906 Aug 19
Philo T. Farnsworth (d.1971), inventor (electronic TV), was born in Beaver County, Utah.
Links: USA, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1907 Nov 4
Faygo was founded in Detroit as Feigenson Brothers Bottling Works by Russian immigrants Ben and Perry Feigenson. The original flavors of Faygo were based on cake frosting recipes used by the Feigensons in Russia. The brothers ran the company until the mid-1940s, when they turned it over to their sons. In the 1950s the company created a series of radio and television advertisements featuring a fictional cowboy called the Faygo Kid, who was portrayed in animation for television commercials for Faygo Old-Fashioned Root Beer.
Links: USA, TV, Michigan, Cola, Advertising     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1913 Jun 13
Ralph Edwards (d.2005), radio and TV host (This is Your Life), was born in Merino, Colo.
Links: USA, Colorado, TV, Radio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1918 Jan 29
John Forsythe (d.2010), actor (Bachelor Father, Charlie's Angels, Dynasty), was born in NJ.
Links: USA, Filmstar, TV, New Jersey     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1924 Jul 21
Don Knotts (d.2006), later film and TV star (The Andy Griffith Show, Matlock, Three’s Company), was born in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Links: USA, Filmstar, TV, West Virginia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1926 Jan 8
Soupy Sales (d.2009), comedian (Soupy Sales Show), was born in Franklinton, North Carolina, as Milton Supman.
Links: USA, TV, North Carolina, Comedy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1927 Apr 7
Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover was on hand for the first inter-city (DC to Manhattan) transmission by telephone of video imagery. Hoover’s image and voice were transmitted across telephone lines.
Links: USA, NYC, TV, DC, Telecom, HooverH     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1927 Apr 7
Philo Farnsworth first demonstrated a working prototype of a TV. His first tele-electronic image was transmitted on a glass slide in his SF lab at 202 Green St. AT&T Bell Labs scientists invented long-distance TV transmission.
Links: USA, SF, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1928 Jan 13
In New York the first television station appeared.
Links: USA, NYC, Technology, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1928 Sep 2
SF inventor Philo T. Farnsworth announced two major advances in television technology. He reportedly eliminated all moving parts and shortened the wave band length to keep broadcasts from interfering with each other. His work was funded by local capitalists headed by W.W. Crocker and Roy N. Bishop.
Links: USA, SF, TV, Inventor     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1929 Nov 15
Edward Asner, actor (Mary Tyler Moore Show, Lou Grant), was born in Kansas City, Missouri.
Links: USA, TV, Missouri     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1929 Nov 30
Dick Clark (d.2012), rock-n-roll promoter, was born in Mount Vernon, NY.
Links: USA, New York, TV, Pop&Rock     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1929 Nov 30
Joan Ganz Cooney, television executive, was born in Phoenix, Az. She founded the Children's Television Workshop and was the mastermind behind "Sesame Street."
Links: USA, TV, Arizona     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1931 Aug 25
Regis Philbin, later TV host (Who Wants to be a Millionaire), was born in NYC.
Links: USA, NYC, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1934 Aug 24
In Philadelphia, Pa., Philo T. Farnsworth (28), a San Francisco scientist, produced a televised picture of the moon, the first recorded use of television in astronomy.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, SF, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1936
The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) was founded.
Links: Canada, TV, Radio, Telecom     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1939 Apr 30
The New York World’s Fair, billed as a look at "the world of tomorrow," officially opened. NY Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia mandated that the city's nude dancers cover up during the fair. The cover-up evolved into the G-string and later the thong. The General Motors exhibit was titled Futurama. Philo T. Farnsworth premiered his television at the fair. AT&T presented its first Picture Phone at the World's Fair. Salvador Dali created a pavilion that was called “Dream of Venus” and described as the “funny house of tomorrow.” In 2000 Miles Beller authored "Dream of Venus (Or Living Pictures): A Novel of the 1939 New York world’s Fair." National Presto Industries introduced the home pressure cooker at the fair.
Links: Artist, USA, NYC, TV, Food, Cars     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1939
Philo T. Farnsworth sold his television patents to RCA Victor for $1 million.
Links: USA, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1940 Feb 8
Ted Koppel, American television journalist, was born in Lancashire, England, as Edward James Koppel. His family came to the United States in 1953, and he was naturalized as a US citizen in 1963.
Links: Britain, USA, TV, Journalism     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1940 Jun 28
The Quiz Kids began airing on US NBC radio from Chicago. It was created by Chicago public relations and advertising man Louis G. Cowan, and originally sponsored by Alka-Seltzer. In 1945 it began airing on NBC TV. Ruth Duskin Feldman (1934-2015) joined the program at age 7 and left the program soon after turning 16. In 1982 she authored “Whatever Happened to the Quiz Kids: Perils and profits of Growing Up Gifted.”
Links: USA, Chicago, TV, Radio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1940
The film “Mad Youth” featured Noel Neill (1920-2016) as a teenager in a bit part. She later played Lois Lane in the Superman movie serials and on TV.
Links: USA, Filmstar, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1941 Jul 1
Commercial black and white television broadcasting began in the US.
Links: USA, TV, Radio, FCC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1943 Oct 12
The Radio Corporation of America announced the divestment of the NBC Blue radio network to businessman Edward J. Noble for $8 million. Noble first called it just "The Blue Network." By Feb 1945 it was renamed the American Broadcasting Company.
Links: USA, TV, Radio, M&A     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1944 Oct 28
Dennis Franz, actor (NYPD Blue), was born in Maywood, Ill.
Links: USA, Illinois, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1946
Vance "Pinto" Colvig served as the voice of Bozo the Clown when Capitol Records executive Alan Livingston created Bozo for recordings. For years, promoter and entertainer Larry Harmon (d.2008), who bought the rights to Bozo, claimed to have both created the character and being the original.
Links: USA, TV, Comedy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1947 Oct 13
The popular children's television show, Kukla, Fran and Ollie, premiered as a local Chicago show. In its first year, the show's name varied between "Kukla, Fran and Ollie" and "Junior Jamboree," but it was essentially the same show.
Links: USA, Chicago, TV, Kids     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1948 Nov 28
"Hopalong Cassidy" TV western premiered on NBC television [see Jun 24, 1949].
Links: USA, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1948 Nov 29
The popular children's television show, Kukla, Fran and Ollie, moved to the NBC Midwest network.
Links: USA, TV, Kids     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1948
The TV show “Studio One” began broadcasting on TV and featured a new play every week. The show continued to 1958.
Links: USA, TV, Theater     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1949 Apr 1
"Happy Pappy" premiered on WENR-TV in Chicago. It was the first televised all-black-cast variety show.
Links: USA, Black History, Chicago, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1949 Jun 24
"Hopalong Cassidy" became the 1st network western (NBC). William Boyd (1895-1972) played Hopalong Cassidy on a radio program. He bought the rights to the Cassidy movies and edited them for TV. They proved popular and he made an additional 52 new episodes for TV [see Nov 28, 1948].
Links: USA, TV, Radio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1949 Nov
In San Francisco KRON-TV began broadcasting.
Links: USA, SF, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1949
The CBS comedy series “Mama” began a 7-year run. It was about a Norwegian American family in early 1900s San Francisco.
Links: USA, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1949
The TV show “Adventures in Music” began on Southern California’s KTLA. It was hosted by John Roland Redd (1921-1998) who posed as Indian Swami Korla Pandit.
Links: USA, California, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1950 Mar 9
Space Patrol debuted as a local, 15-minute show that aired live five days a week in Los Angeles and ran to 1955. Norman Jolley (d.2002), evil Agent X, acted in the series and wrote scripts. Ed Kemmer (1921-2004) played Commander Buzz Corry. Joanne Jordan played the evil Queen Mirtha. It featured the voice of Dick Tufeld for its weekly introductions. In 2005 Jean-Noel Bassior authored “Space Patrol: Missions of Daring in the name of Early Television.”
Links: USA, California, TV, Space     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1950 Oct
The TV show “Tom Corbett, Space Cadet” (1950-1955) premiered with Frankie Thomas (1921-2006) as Tom Corbett.
Links: USA, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1950
1951
The Jack Carter Show aired on NBC. Comedian Jack Carter (1922-2015) hosted several specials and variety shows during his career including “Cavalcade of the Stars.”
Links: USA, TV, Comedy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1951 Jan 1
A British radio soap opera called “The Archers” began airing following pilot shows in 1950. The show was about a British farming community and was still popular as it continued in 2011.
Links: Britain, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1951 Sep 3
The television soap opera "Search for Tomorrow" made its debut on CBS. From 1953 to 1955 it featured Don Knotts as the neurotic Wilbur Peterson. The show ended in 1986 after 4 years on NBC. Larry Haines (1918-2008) played the neighbor Stu Bergman for most of the show’s run.
Links: USA, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1952 Jul 1
Dan Aykroyd (comedian, actor: Driving Miss Daisy, Grosse Point Blank, Coneheads, Saturday Night Live, Dragnet, Ghostbusters, The Blues Brothers), was born.
Links: TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1952
The radio show “This Is Your Life,” hosted by Ralph Edwards, migrated to television. It ran to 1961.
Links: USA, TV, Radio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1952
Death Valley Days moved from radio to TV and ran to 1975 as a syndicated television show. British-born manager James Gerstley (1907-2007), president of the Pacific Coast Borax Company (later US Borax), sponsored the show.
Links: USA, California, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1952
John Hart (1917-2009) temporarily replaced Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger for 52 episodes.
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1952
Art Linkletter (1912-2010), radio and TV talk-show pioneer, began hosting his daytime television show “House Party.” It continued to 1970.
Links: USA, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1952
Matsutaro Shoriki founded Nippon Television, Japan’s first private network.
Links: Japan, TV, Journalism     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1953 Apr 3
Walter Annenberg of Philadelphia began a national TV Guide. His father had published Radio Guide and he bought TV Forecast in Chicago and local television guides in New York , Philadelphia and Washington to begin his operation. A picture of the first cover featured Lucy and Desi Arnaz’ baby (I Love Lucy).
Links: USA, TV, Radio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1953 Oct 20
Edward R. Murrow on his TV show “See It Now” brought public attention to the abuses of power in the era of Sen. McCarthy’s anti-communist crusade. Milo Radulovich (1926-2007), a US Air Force Reserve officer, had been stripped of his commission for refusing to denounce his family, which subscribed to several Serbian newspapers. His commission was later restored. Murrow took up the case and set the turning point to discredit McCarthyism.
Links: USA, TV, Journalism, Govm’t Scandal     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1953
Augie Hiebert (1916-2007) opened Alaska’s first television station in Anchorage.
Links: USA, TV, Alaska, Telecom     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1953
Soupy Sales (1926-2009) began his “Soupy’s On” 5-day-a-week variety show in Detroit on WXYZ-TV. The theme song was Charlie Parker’s "Yardbird Suite." Many jazz giants played on his show but very little film footage survived. His “Lunch with Soupy Sales” went national in October 1959, on the ABC television network.
Links: USA, TV, Michigan, Jazz     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1954 Sep 27
"Tonight!" hosted by Steve Allen, made its debut on NBC-TV.
Links: USA, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1954 Oct 27
Walt Disney's first television program, titled "Disneyland" after his yet-to-be completed theme park, premiered on ABC.
Links: USA, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1954 Nov 1
"The Sky's The Limit" TV game show began airing on NBC and continued to Dec 27, 1955.
Links: USA, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1954 Dec 15
Fess Parker (1924-2010) starred as "Davy Crockett, Indian Fighter" in its premier as part of the new Disneyland TV show. It was possibly the first miniseries.
Links: USA, Filmstar, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1954
Venezuela’s Radio Caracas Television Station (RCTV) began operations.
Links: Venezuela, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1954
San Francisco toy magnate Norman Rosenberg (d.2017 age 98) began hosting “The King Norman Show” for kids on KGO-TV and continued to 1961. He and his wife had turned a small toy store in San Francisco into a 21-store chain with branches in the SF Bay Area, Oregon and Washington state.
Links: USA, SF, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1955 Mar 5
A truck driver from Tupelo, Miss., made his first-ever TV appearance on this night. Elvis Aron Presley was featured on "Louisiana Hayride". This prompted promoters to send Elvis to New York City to audition for Arthur Godfrey's immensely popular and career-making "Talent Scouts" program. Talent coordinators and Godfrey are said to have passed on Elvis appearing on the show. Not much later, he was tossed out of the Grand Ole Opry as well, and told to "go back to driving a truck." In a little over a year, however, the nation was caught up in Presley-mania which continues even today.
Links: USA, TV, Mississippi, Pop&Rock     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1955 Sep 10
The TV show "Gunsmoke," starring James Arness as Marshal Matt Dillon, premiered on CBS and lasted to 1975. Dennis Weaver (1924-2006) played Chester Goode.
Links: USA, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1955 Sep 14
Marine Capt. Richard McCutchen became the 1st contestant to win the TV quiz “$64,000 Question.”
Links: TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1955 Dec 6
NY psychologist Joyce Brothers (28) won the CBS "$64,000 Question," by answering 7 questions on boxing.
Links: NYC, TV, Boxing     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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