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Today in History: Thursday, January 25, 2024

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Television and Radio
NBC radio presented the first broadcast of soap opera “The Guiding Light” in 1937. The show remained on radio until 1956 and began on CBS-TV in 1952…The 1st Annual Emmy Awards were presented at the Hollywood Athletic Club in Los Angeles in 1949…In 1961, John F. Kennedy became the first U.S. president to hold a live televised news conference…The “Cousin Oliver Syndrome” began on ABC’s “The Brady Bunch” in 1974 when Robbie Rist joined the cast just six episodes before the beloved sitcom was canceled…Airing immediately following Super Bowl XXXII on NBC in 1998, 33.7 million viewers tuned in to the one-hour episode of sitcom “3rd Rock From The Sun” where a plethora of beautiful women descended upon the town to date so-called Average Joes. Cindy Crawford, Beverly Johnson and Angie Everhart guest starred. “3rd Rock” star John Lithgow kicked off the episode when he “interrupted” NBC’s NFL host Greg Gumbel during the post-game show…Offbeat comedic talk show “The Tom Green Show” made its United States debut on MTV in 1999. It had been produced and aired in Canada in the five years prior. Green’s cancer diagnosis in March 2000 ended the show. It made a brief revival on MTV in the summer of 2003…”Touch“, starring Kiefer Sutherland as a father of an autistic son, debuted on Fox in 2012. The drama created by Tim Kring (“Heroes”) ran for only two abbreviated seasons.
Two Our Gang film shorts opened in theaters: “Shiverin’ Shakespeare” with Edgar Kennedy in 1930; and “Fightin’ Fools” in 1941…The animated film “One Hundred and One Dalmatians” was released in theaters in the United States in 1961. Disney would later release a live-action adaptation named “101 Dalmatians” in 1996 and its sequel, “102 Dalmatians,” in 2000. A direct to video animated sequel to the 1961 film named “101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure” was released in 2003. And as live-action spin-off/prequel called “Cruella” with Emma Stone was released in 2021. …Robert Altman theatrical “M*A*S*H,” which spun-off the long-running sitcom of the same name, was released in 1970. It received five Academy Award nominations and won for Best Adapted Screenplay.

The first Winter Olympic Games opened in Chamonix, France in 1924… the Denver Broncos‘ 31-24 victory over the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII in 1998 was the final game of NBC‘s first run of being one of NFL’s primary outlets after 33 consecutive years; CBS then outbid NBC for its package. NBC resumed NFL coverage in the fall of 2006 with “Sunday Night Football”.

Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and others signed an agreement to organize the Oriental Telephone Company in 1881…The first arcade game was patented in 1947 courtesy of Thomas Goldsmith’s “Cathode ray tube amusement device”, which is considered the ancestor of video games…Criminal and cult leader Charles Manson and three of his followers were convicted of a series of notorious murders in 1971. Their crimes inspired the best-selling book (and eventual TV miniseries) “Helter Skelter” in 1974.

Celebrity Birthdays:
Actress Leigh Taylor-Young (“Peyton Place,” ″Soylent Green”) is 79; actress Dinah Manoff (“Grease,” “Empty Nest”) is 68; actress Jenifer Lewis (“The Preacher’s Wife”, “blackish”) is 67; actress Ana Ortiz (“Devious Maids,” ″Ugly Betty”) is 53; actress Mia Kirshner (“The L Word,” “24”) is 49; actress Christine Lakin (“Step By Step”) is 45; singer Alicia Keys is 44; actor Michael Trevino (“The Vampire Diaries”) is 39; actress Olivia Edward (“Better Things”) is 17.

Did You Know?
There were only six categories in the first Emmy Awards in 1949, and the nominated shows were limited to those that aired in the Los Angeles area…Robbie Rist is remembered for his short-lived stint on “The Brady Bunch. But he also appeared on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which he joined late in the series run in 1976 as Ted (Ted Knight) and Georgette’s (Georgia Engel) adopted son David. In between the two sitcoms he appeared in 1974-75 NBC high school drama “Lucas Tanner,” which starred David Hartman.