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Today in History: Thursday, February 15, 2024

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Sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith) and his son Opie (Ron Howard) were introduced on CBS’ “The Danny Thomas Show” in 1960 when Danny is arrested for going through a stop sign in fictional Mayberry, North Carolina. The characters of Andy and Opie returned for spin-off “The Andy Griffith Show, which began its eight season run on Oct. 3, 1960…Seven night miniseries “Amerika,” starring Kris KristoffersonMariel HemingwaySam NeillRobert Urich and Lara Flynn Boyle, debuted on ABC in 1987…Political mockumentary “Tanner 88,” written by “Doonesbury” cartoonist Garry Trudeau and directed by Robert Altman, debuted on HBO in 1988. It featured Michael MurphyCynthia Nixon and Pamela ReedYouTube launched in 2005…The 24th season of CBS reality competition “Survivor” entitled “Survivor: One World” premiered in 2012. The game consisted of 18 castaways split into two tribes — one male, the other female. Both tribes camped on the same beach. Some of the castaways who competed were Kim SpradlinLeif Manson, fashion photographer Troy “Troyzan” Robertson, and Monica Culpepper, wife of former NFL football player Brad Culpepper (who would later also become a contestant on “Survivor”)…The first season of the superhero series “The Umbrella Academy“, based on the Gerard Way comic book series of the same name, was released on Netflix in 2019. It starred Tom HopperElliot Page and Mary J. Blige.

The silent film “It”, starring Clara Bow, was released in theaters in 1927. It popularized the concept of the “it girl”, with the term “it” defined in the opening as the “quality possessed by some which draws all other with its magnetic force.”

An assassin’s bullet meant for the U.S. president-elect, Franklin D. Roosevelt, wounded Mayor Anton J. Cermak of Chicago in 1933, who died three weeks later…Canada officially adopted the Maple Leaf Flag in 1965 following a royal proclamation.

Celebrity Birthdays
Actress Claire Bloom is 93; songwriter Brian Holland (Holland-Dozier-Holland) is 83; actress Marisa Berenson (“Barry Lyndon”) is 77; actress Jane Seymour is 73; singer Melissa Manchester is also 73; actress Lynn Whitfield (“Madea’s Family Reunion”) is 71; cartoonist Matt Groening (“The Simpsons”) is 70; model Janice Dickinson is 69; singer Ali Campbell (UB40) is 65; actor Joseph R. Gannascoli (“The Sopranos”) is also 65; actor Michael Easton (“General Hospital”) is 57; actress Alex Borstein (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) is 53; actress Renee O’Connor (“Xena: Warrior Princess”) is 53; actor Sarah Wynter (“24″) is 51; singer Brandon Boyd of Incubus is 48; actress Natalie Morales (“The Grinder,” ″90210″) is 39; actress Amber Riley (“Glee”) is 38; rapper Megan Thee Stallion is 29.

Did You Know?
“The Andy Griffith Show” is one of only three shows historically to finish its final season — in 1967-68 — as the top-rated series in all of primetime. The others were “I Love Lucy” on CBS in the 1956-57 season and “Seinfeld” on NBC in 1997-98. The Ricardos (Lucille BallDesi Arnaz and Ricard Keith…aka Keith Thibodeaux) and Mertzes (Vivian Vance and William Frawley) lived on in spin-off series “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, which consisted of 13 hour-long specials that aired from 1957 to 1960. There was also talk of a spin-off series featuring Fred and Ethel, but Vivian Vance was not interested.