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Today in History: Saturday, April 6, 2024

© by PBS

The inaugural “Tony Awards,” then called “The Perry Awards,” were presented at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City in 1947. Notable first winners included actress Ingrid Bergman, playwright Arthur Miller, and director Elia Kazan“All My Sons” and musical “Finian’s Rainbow” were honored…The food company Swanson & Sons introduced the “TV Dinner” in 1954, which for 98 cents included a Thanksgiving meal of turkey, dressing, peas and sweet potatoes, frozen and packaged in a tray…Joan Collins guest starred on the original “Star Trek” in 1967…Pop music group ABBA has their international breakthrough when they won the top prize at the Eurovision Song Contest with “Waterloo” in 1974…The post-it note was introduced to consumers by 3M in 1980. One TV character who does not have a fond memory of the post-it note was Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) on “Sex and the City,” whose then boyfriend Berger (Ron Livingston) broke up with her by leaving a message on it…CBS sitcom “Private Benjamin,” based on the Goldie Hawn movie of the same name and starring Lorna Patterson, debuted in 1981. In concluded in 1983…CBS comedy “Zorro and Son” began its short run in 1983. It aired for five episodes…Beach lifeguard series “Baywatch” aired its last episode on NBC in 1990 when the network canceled it after one season. It returned in syndication in October 1991 and rose to greater success (and 10 additional seasons). By the mid-90’s, “Baywatch” was the most-watched program in the world. In season 10, “Baywatch” was retitled “Baywatch: Hawaii”..In 1992, preschool favorite “Barney and Friends” launched on PBS. It ran in original episodes for 18 years…Nine short-lived series launched: 1) NBC sitcom “Fathers and Sons” starring Merlin Olsen in 1986; 2) ABC workplace sitcom “Just In Time” starring Tim Matheson in 1988; 3) Fox sitcom “Getting Personal” starring Vivica A. Fox and Jon Cryer in 1998; 4) ABC athlete soap opera “PUSH” starring Jamie Pressly in 1998; 5) family comedy “Everything’s Relative” on NBC in 1999; 6) family docuseries “Meet the Barkers” on MTV in 2005; 7) late night interactive game show “PlayMania” on Game Show Network in 2006; 8) Fox single-cam comedy “Breaking In” in 2007 starring Christian Slater; and, 9) docuseries “Tori & Dean: sTORIbook Weddings” with Tori Spelling on Oxygen in 2007; …Nine short-lived series concluded: 1) CBS medical sitcom “Doctor Doctor” starring Matt Frewer in 1991; 2) ABC’s Rocky Mountains search-and-rescue team drama “Extreme” starring James Brolin in 1995; 3) MTV adult animated series “Station Zero” in 1999; 4) ABC medical drama “Wonderland” in 2000; 5) Norm Macdonald’s sitcom “The Norm Show” on ABC in 2001;6)  family sitcom “It’s All Relative” on ABC in 2004; 7) Fox comedy “The Wedding Bells” in 2007; 8) Matthew Perry comedy “Mr. Sunshine” on ABC in 2011; and, 9) Shonda Rhimes-produced tropical medics drama “Off The Map” on ABC in 2011; … software workplace comedy “Silicon Valley“, co-created by Mike Judge and starring Thomas MiddleditchKumail Nanjiani and T.J. Miller, debuted on HBO in 2014. It ran for 53 episodes across six condensed seasons… also in 2014, AMC premiered the historical drama “Turn: Washington’s Spies” starring Jamie Bell. It ran for 40 episodes across four condensed seasons.

The first animated cartoon, “Humorous Phases of Funny Faces”, opened in 1906. In the cartoon, animated hand-drawn scenes appear on a chalkboard, including a clown playing with a hat and a dog jumping through a hoop.

Swedish group ABBA had their international breakthrough as they captured the top prize at the Eurovision Song Contest with “Waterloo” in 1974.

George Eastman began selling his Kodak flexible rolled film for the first time in 1889…The American company 3M began selling Post-it Notes in stores in 1980…The United States declared war on Germany, thus entering World War I three years after the conflict began…Short-lived streaming service Quibi launched in 2020. Its name was short for “Quick Bites” as it focused on showcasing short-form content meant for mobile devices. The minimal interest in the streamer led to its shutdown just eight months later. Beginning at the start of 2021, Roku picked up all of Quibi’s programs for its free, ad-supported channels.

The first modern Summer Olympic Games open in Athens, Greece in 1896. American athlete James Connolly became the first Olympic champion when he won the triple jump… The first-ever game of American sports league Major League Soccer occurred in 1996 between the San Jose Clash and D.C. United. ESPN televised the contest…NBA legend Michael Jordan was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009…At New Orleans’ Superdome in 2014 for WrestleMania XXXBrock Lesnar defeated The Undertaker, which put an end to The Undertaker’s 21-WrestleMania match winning streak…The Duke Blue Devils defeated the Wisconsin Badgers 68-63 in the NCAA men’s basketball national championship at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. in 2015. It marked the conclusion of a 34 consecutive years streak the national championship had aired on CBS. TBS and CBS would alternate televising the game starting in 2016.
Celebrity Birthdays:
Billy Dee Williams is 87 actor Roy Thinnes (“The Invaders”) is 86; director Barry Levinson (“Homicide: Life on the Street”) is 82; “Cheers” star John Ratzenberger is 77; actress Patrika Darbo (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) is 76; “Taxi” and “Evening Shade” star Marilu Henner is 72; actor Michael Rooker (“Guardians of the Galaxy”) is 69; guitarist Warren Haynes of Gov’t Mule is 64; singer-guitarist Black Francis of The Pixies is 59; actor Paul Rudd (“Clueless”) is 55; Ari Meyers (“Kate & Allie) is 55; Jason Hervey (“The Wonder Years”) is 52; bassist Markku Lappalainen (Hoobastank) is 51; “Scrubs” star Zach Braff is 49; actor Joel Garland (“Orange Is the New Black”) is also 49; “Full House”/”Fuller House” star Candace Cameron Bure is 48; actor Teddy Sears (“24: Legacy”) is 47; musician Robert Glasper is 46; actor Eliza Coupe (“Happy Endings,” ″Scrubs”) is 43; actor Charlie McDermott (“The Middle”) is 34.

Did You Know?
Billy Dee Williams rose to stardom in 1971 in television movie “Brian’s Song.” He played Chicago Bears star football player Gale Sayers, who stood by his friend Brian Piccolo (James Caan), during Piccolo’s struggle with terminal cancer…Five seasons prior to the start of “Full House,” in 1982, Candace Cameron had a five episode role on NBC’s “St. Elsewhere”…Also in 1982, “Private Benjamin” star Eileen Brennan was struck by a car and former “Alice”/”Flo” star Polly Holliday was brought in as a temporary replacement, but the show was canceled after just one appearance by Holliday.