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Today in History: Friday, October 20, 2023

© by CBS/Landov

The CBS Eye logo was introduced during the network’s station breaks in 1951….Walter Cronkite began hosting CBS documentary series “The 20th Century” in 1957…TV’s two most “lovable bigots,” Carroll O’Connor as Archie Bunker and Sherman Hemsley as George Jefferson, appeared together for the first time in an episode of CBS’ “All in the Family” in 1973. Initially, neighbor Louise Jefferson (Isabel Sanford) was seen with George’s brother Henry (Mel Stewart) because Hemsley was unavailable at the time…Nightly news program “The Robert MacNeil Report” launched on New York’s PBS station WNET in 1975. It was established following MacNeil and Jim Lehrer‘s well-received coverage of the U.S. Senate’s Watergate hearings two years prior. In Dec. 1975, MacNeil’s show went nationwide and ten months later, Lehrer joined MacNeil to form “The MacNeil/Lehrer Report“. Their partnership lasted 19 years on-air until MacNeil’s retirement in 1995. Currently, the program is known as “PBS NewsHour” with host Judy Woodruff…in 1998, comedian Richard Pryor was awarded the 1st ever Mark Twain Prize for American Humor…Modern-day “Romeo & Juliet” drama “Skin” premiered on Fox in 2003. It starred Ron Silver, Kevin Anderson, Olivia Wilde, D.J. Cotrona and Laura Leighton. Despite heavy promotion throughout the network’s postseason baseball coverage, “Skin” was canceled after three episodes. Its remaining five episodes aired on the cable network SOAPnet two years later…Dystopian superhero drama “Watchmen“, based on the DC Comics stories from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons and developed by “Lost” co-creator Damon Lindelof, debuted on HBO in 2019. The nine-episode limited series received much critical acclaim, and was the recipient of many accolades including Emmys for its stars Regina King and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Critics Choice awards for King and Jean Smart. It also starred Louis Gossett Jr., Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, James Wolk and Frances Fisher.

Comedy “Get Shorty” starring John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Danny Devito and Rene Russo was released in theaters in 1996.

Harry Belafonte recorded “Day-O” (Banana Boat Song) in 1955…Peter, Paul and Mary’s debut folk album “Peter, Paul and Mary” reached No. 1 on US album charts in 1962…Queen Elizabeth II opened the Sydney Opera House in 1973…Geffen Records released their first album, Donna Summer’s “The Wanderer” in 1987.

“No Time for Sergeants,” starring Andy Griffith, opened on Broadway in 1955. Griffith also headlined the film version of the same name in 1958.
President Abraham Lincoln formally established Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1864.
Winning the MLB World Series were: St. Louis Cardinals in 1982, Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988 and Cincinnati Reds in 1990… an average of 31.5 million viewers tuned in to Fox in 2004 to witness baseball history: the Boston Red Sox became the first team in the sport to win a best-of-seven playoff series by losing the series’ first three games. They defeated the New York Yankees 10-3 in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, NY.
Publication of “The Return of the King, the 3rd and final volume of “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien was released in London in 1955.

Celebrity Birthdays:
Actress Dolores Hart (“King Creole”) is 85; “Boy Meets World” star William Russ is 73; “thirtysomething” star Melanie Mayron is 71; legendary baseball player Keith Hernandez is 70; film director Danny Boyle (“Trainspotting”) is 67; actor Viggo Mortensen is 65; Vice President Kamala Harris is 59; former “The View” co-host Sunny Hostin is 55; rapper Snoop Dogg is 52; popular podcaster/notable “Survivor Amazon” castaway Rob Cesternino is 45; “The Office” star John Krasinski is 44.

Did You Know?
When “All in the Family” spin-off “The Jeffersons” debuted, Sherman Hemsley at the time was 36 years old. Isabel Sanford as beloved wife Louise (“Weezie”) Jefferson was 57 and Mike Evans as TV son Lionel was 26, which would have made George 10 years old when Lionel was born.  No wonder why Mother Jefferson (Zara Cully) did not like “Weezie!”