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Today in History: Thursday, July 1, 2021

© by Image courtesy of MGM.

Television and Radio:
The beginning of commercial television broadcasting began in 1941. The Federal Communications Commission licenses went into effect, allowing broadcasters to transmit programs and advertising. The first channels to receive FCC licenses were WNBT in New York (the precursor to WNBC), operated by the National Broadcasting Company, and WCBW (now CBS), operated by the Columbia Broadcasting System. Any broadcasting before that date was considered “experimental”…Game show “High Rollers” hosted by Alex Trebek premiered on NBC daytime in 1974. Its original run lasted two years. It was revived twice more: once back on NBC with Trebek from 1978-80, and again but in syndication with host Wink Martindale in 1987-88…New York’s WNEW (now, Fox TV affiliate WNYW) debuted the short-lived late night talk show “Imus, Plus” hosted by radio personality Don Imus in 1978…The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) introduced the PG-13 rating in 1984…Nickelodeon launched Nick at Nite in 1985…New York’s WFAN 660 AM radio station was launched in 1987. It is the first 24-hour all-sports radio station in broadcast history and served as the template for the nation’s sports talk radio format in the decades since… The original Court TV began in 1991…Also in 1991, President George H. W. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court…The Fox network began programming on Wednesday nights in 1992 with “Beverly Hills, 90210. Spin-off “Melrose Place” launched on the evening one week later…LeBron James signed a 4-year, $154 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018… The first six episodes of the most recent revival of true crime docuseries “Unsolved Mysteries” were released on Netflix in 2020. It initially aired on NBC from 1987 thru 1997, with brief reboots on CBS, Lifetime and Spike TV in the years since.

Two “Our Gang” shorts were released in theaters: Silent entry “Dogs of War!” (with Harold Lloyd) in 1923 and “Dog Daze” in 1939…The comedy “Adventures in Babysitting” starring Elisabeth Shue, opened in 1987…“Terminator 2: Judgement Day directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzwenegger, Linda Hamilton and Edward Furlong, opened in Century City, California in 1991…Two comedies opened in 1992: “A League of Their Own” directed by Penny Marshall and starring Geena DavisTom HanksMadonnaRosie O’Donnell and Lori Petty (a short-lived TV comedy adaptation aired on CBS shortly thereafter); “Boomerang” starring Eddie MurphyHalle BerryRobin GivensMartin LawrenceDavid Alan Grier and Grace Jones…The asteroid disaster blockbuster “Armageddon” starring Bruce WillisBen AffleckLiv TylerOwen Wilson and Billy Bob Thornton opened in 1998. Its legacy lives on thru adult contemporary radio stations that still play the film’s No. 1 hit song “I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing,” written by Diane Warren and performed by Aerosmith…Animated film “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs featuring the voices of Ray Romano and John Leguizamo, was released in 2009.

Reaching No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100: “Song Sung Blue” by Neil Diamond in 1972; “Baby Don’t Forget My Number” by Milli Vanilli in 1989.Sports:
The first modern-era Summer Olympics held in the United States opened in 1904 as it took place in St. Louis, Missouri… after an 11-year absence on the cable network, “Top Rank Boxing” returned to ESPN in 2017 for the Manny PacquiaoJeff Horn bout from Queensland, Australia.

Sony introduced the Walkman in 1979. By 2010, when production stopped, Sony had built about 200 million cassette-based Walkmans.

Happy Canada Day! The holiday was first established in 1867 to commemorate the confederation of the provinces Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Canada that formed the nation of Canada…Five-digit zip codes were introduced nationwide for United States mail in 1963…

Celebrity Birthdays
Actress Leslie Caron (“An American in Paris”) is 90; actor Jamie Farr (“M*A*S*H”) is 87; actress Jean Marsh (“Upstairs, Downstairs”) is also 87; dancer/choreographer Twyla Tharp is 80; actress Genevieve Bujold (“Earthquake”) is 79; rock singer Debbie Harry is 76; The B-52’s singer Fred Schneider is 70; actor Daryl Anderson (“Lou Grant”) is also 70; original “Saturday Night Live” cast member Dan Aykroyd is 69; actor Alan Ruck (“Spin City”, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”) is 65; actress Lorna Patterson (“Private Benjamin”) is also 65; singer Evelyn “Champagne” King is 61; 9-time Olympic track and field gold medalist Carl Lewis is 60; actor Andre Braugher (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) is 59; “Baywatch” star Pamela Anderson is 54; actor Henry Simmons (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” ″NYPD Blue”) is 51; rapper Missy Elliott is 50; actresses Julianne Nicholson (“Mare of Easttown”) and Melissa Peterman (“Reba”, “Young Sheldon”) are also 50; actress Liv ; actress Hilarie Burton (“One Tree Hill”) is 39.

Did You Know?
Noticed by Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron went to Hollywood to appear with him in the 1951 musical “An American in Paris”, which introduced her to the American public. She went on to appear in other musical films such as “Lili” (1953), for which she won a BAFTA Award for best actress, “The Glass Slipper” (1955), “Daddy Long Legs” (1955), opposite Fred Astaire, “Gaby” (1956) and “Gigi” (1958).