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Today in History: Monday, June 7, 2021

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“The Texaco Star Theater”, hosted by Milton Berle, opened on NBC in 1948. The variety series was largely credited with driving American television set sales heavily; the number of TV sets sold during Berle’s run on the show was said to have grown from 500,000, his first year on the show, to over 30 million when it ended in 1956. “Texaco Star Theater” was also the highest rated television show of the 1950–1951 television season, which was the first season in which the Nielsen ratings were used…Variety hour “The Johnny Cash Show, which originated in Nashville, debuted on ABC in 1969. It aired for two half-seasons, expiring in May 1971. In 1976, Cash returned with a four-week summer show on CBS called “Johnny Cash and Friends”“The NBC Nightly News, with John Chancellor and David Brinkley, aired for the first time in 1976… Seven short-lived series premiered: game shows 1) “Rumor Has It” on VH1 and 2) the TV edition of popular board game “Trivial Pursuit” on The Family Channel — both in 1993; 3) TBS animated series “Neighbors from Hell” and 4) NBC drama “Persons Unknown” — both in 2010; 5) Paramount Network’s “American Woman” and 6) Freeform’s “Cloak & Dagger” — both in 2018; and 7) The CW variety series “The Big Stage” in 2019…Four short-lived series concluded: 1) ABC animated series “Star Wars: Droids – The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO” in 1986; 2) UPN anthology drama “The Watcher” in 1995; 3) The WB sitcom “Kelly Kelly” in 1998; and 4) Bravo drama “Imposters” in 2018…The highly-promoted “Cruise of Deception” storyline premiered on NBC daytime drama “Days of Our Lives” in 1990. Billed in advertisements as a miniseries, the big-budgeted production (for a daytime soap) aired one month long, having served as a climax for other stories leading up to the cruise and established other subplots, some of which lasted throughout the entire 1990s’ decade on the show…Animated action-adventure comedy “Kim Possible” debuted on Disney Channel in 2002. It featured the voices of Christy Carlson Romano, Will Friedle, Nancy Cartwright, Tahj Mowry and Nicole Sullivan. It was the network’s second-ever original animated series (following “The Proud Family”) and it ran for four seasons…Medical drama “Saving Hope” starring Erica Durance and Michael Shanks began its five-season run on Canadian broadcaster CTV in 2012. It also launched day-and-date on NBC, but only its first season aired there. Ion Television picked up the series two years later…Crime drama “Power”, co-produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and starring Omari Hardwick, debuted on Starz in 2014. Having ran for six seasons, it is the premium cable network’s most successful original series in its history. Four sequel series in the “Power” franchise are currently in production for the network: “Power Book II: Ghost”, “Power Book III: Raising Kanan”, “Power Book IV: Force” and “Power Book V: Influence”John Dickerson became the new moderator of CBS Sunday morning news program “Face the Nation” in 2015. He succeeded Bob Schieffer who had previously hosted for 24 years…The critically-acclaimed British drama “I May Destroy You” created, written, co-directed, and executive produced by Michaela Coel debuted in the U.S. on HBO in 2020. Twelve episodes were produced for its inaugural season.

“Ghostbusters”, starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Harold Ramis, opened in theaters in 1984. The film earned $282.2 million during its initial theatrical run, making it the second-highest-grossing film of that year, and the highest-grossing comedy of all time at that point

The Milwaukee Braves set a major league baseball record with four consecutive home runs in the seventh inning in 1961…Major League Baseball legend Mickey Mantle gave his farewell retirement speech during “Mickey Mantle Day” at Yankee Stadium in 1969…In 1982, the New York Mets drafted pitchers Dwight Gooden, Roger McDowell and Randy Myers. Gooden became National League Rookie of the Year two years later and the NL Cy Young winner in 1985. All three players would be part of the 1986 championship team…The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Calgary Flames 2-1 in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2004. It was the Lightning’s first Stanley Cup championships in franchise history. The telecast was the final NHL game to air on ABC but ESPN’s new television deal with the NHL will return the league on ABC within the 2021-22 season…In 2011, NBCUniversal outbid ESPN/ABC and Fox to retain rights to air the Olympic Games through 2020. The deal between NBC and the International Olympic Committee is valued at $4.38 billion…In 2018, the Washington Capitals beat the Las Vegas Golden Knights, 4-3 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final for a 4-1 series victory; their first Stanley Cup title in franchise history

Celebrity Birthdays:
Actress Virginia McKenna (“Born Free”) is 90; singer Tom Jones is 81; talk show host Jenny Jones is 75; actor Liam Neeson is 69; actress Colleen Camp (“Die Hard: With A Vengeance”) is 68; actor William Forsythe is 66; record producer L.A. Reid is 65; singer-guitarist Gordon Gano of Violent Femmes is 58; guitarist Dave Navarro is 54; actress Helen Baxendale (Emily on “Friends”) is 51; actor Karl Urban (2009′s “Star Trek”) is 49; Philadelphia 76ers legend Allen Iverson is 46; actress Anna Torv (“Fringe”) is 42, actress Larisa Oleynik (“3rd Rock From The Sun,” ″Boy Meets World”) is 40; Russian tennis player Anna Kournikova is also 40; actor Michael Cera (“Juno,” ″Arrested Development”) is 33; rapper Iggy Azalea is 31; rapper Fetty Wap is 30; model Emily Ratajkowski is also 30.

Did You Know?
One unusual taping occurred during “The Johnny Cash Show” in 1971. Moments after Cash greeted the audience, assuming it was a regular episode, June Carter Cash came on stage and said she had a special guest. Ralph Edwards then joined the two on stage, and Cash realized that it was actually a taping for an installment of “This Is Your Life” honoring him.