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Today in History: Monday, May 8, 2023

NBC’s “Hour Glass,” the first hour-long entertainment program of any kind, debuted in 1946…The first Little Caesar’s pizzeria opened in Garden City, Michigan in 1959…The New York Knicks won their first NBA championship in 1970. The game featured the return of Willis Reed… Two long-running series aired their intended series finales: ABC’s “Happy Days” in 1984 (after 11 seasons) and NBC’s “A Different World” in 1993 (after 6 seasons). Each series would have several of its unaired episodes get burned off in the several months following their “finales” .. Chris Farley introduced the character of Matt Foley (“who lived in a van down by the river”) on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” in 1993…Classic 1939 theatrical “The Wizard of Oz” aired for the final time on CBS in 1998.

James Bond film, “Dr. No, starring Sean Connery, opened is U.S. theaters in 1963.

Hitting #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 list: “Welcome Back,” the theme song to ABC sitcom Welcome, Back Kotter,” by John Sebastian in 1976…”Chariots of Fire, the theme song of the Oscar-winning theatrical of the same name, by Vangelis in 1982…Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca” in 1999…50 years ago today: The final studio album featuring The Beatles, “Let it Be,” and “ABC” from The Jackson 5 were released in 1970.

The first bottle of Coca-Cola, created by Dr. John Pemberton, was sold in 1886

Celebrity Birthdays:
Singer Toni Tennille is 83; Billy Joel is 74; Earth Wind and Fire singer Philip Bailey is 72; drummer Alex Van Halen is 70; actor David Keith (“An Officer and a Gentleman”) is 69; actor Raoul Max Trujillo (“Mayans M.C.”) is 68; “The NFL Today” commentator and former NFL coach Bill Cowher is 66; “Little House on the Prairie” star Melissa Gilbert is 59; Savage Garden singer Darren Hayes is 51; singer Enrique Iglesias is 48; actor Matt Davis (“The Vampire Diaries”) is 45; actor Domhnall Gleeson (“Peter Rabbit”) is 40.

Did You Know?:
Originally, the character of Whitley was to only appear in the pilot episode of “A Different World. When Lisa Bonet exited after one season, she was upgraded to the star of the show.