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Today in History: Sunday, April 4, 2021


Television and Radio:
There were four series-finales on this day: “Petticoat Junction” on CBS in 1970, “Hogan’s Heroes” on CBS in 1971, the original “Knight Rider” with David Hasselhoff on NBC in 1986, and syndicated drama “Renegade” with Lorenzo Lamas in 1997. Of the four, “Petticoat Junction” had the longest run at seven seasons, followed by “Hogan’s Heroes” at six, “Renegade” at five and “Knight Rider” at four. A revival of “Knight Rider” on NBC with Justin Breuning in 2008 lasted for only one season…ABC sitcom “The Marshall Chronicles,” featuring Joshua Rifkind as a gawky teenager, launched in 1990. It aired for only seven episodes.

Beatles’ single “Can’t Buy Me Love” single went No. 1 in 1964 and stayed No. 1 for 5 weeks…“Always & Forever”, the second studio album by Randy Travis was released in 1987. It won the Billboard Album of the Year.

In 1958: Cheryl Crane aged 14, daughter of actress Lana Turned, stabbed to death organized crime figure Johnny Stompanato, her mother’s boyfriend, in self-defense. The crime was later ruled a “justifiable homicide”…US civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated by James Earl Ray at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968…Microsoft was founded as a partnership between Bill Gates and Paul Allen to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800 in 1975.

Celebrity Birthdays:
Celebrity Birthdays: BBC TV host Graham Norton is 58;”Arrested Development” star David Cross is 57; actor Robert Downey, Jr. is 56; magician David Blaine is 48.
Did You Know?:
“Petticoat Junction” was not spun-off from “The Beverly Hillbillies. While both sitcoms (plus “Green Acres, which debuted in 1965 and was also not spun-off from “Petticoat Junction”) came from Paul HenningBea Benaderet played Jethro’s (Max Baer) mother Pearl on “The Beverly Hillbillies” and Kate Bradley on “Petticoat Junction.” Oliver (Eddie Albert) and Lisa Douglas (Eva Gabor), meanwhile, did not appear on “Petticoat Junction” until after “Green Acres” began…Werner Klemperer, who won two Emmy Awards in the Supporting Actor Comedy category, only agreed to play Col. Wilhelm Klink on “Hogan’s Heroes” on the condition that Klink would be portrayed as a fool who never succeeded.