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Today in History: Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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Three classic sitcoms debuted on this day: “The Beverly Hillbillies” in 1962, “Gilligan’s Island” in 1964, and “The Brady Bunch” in 1969. “Gilligan’s Island” and “The Brady Bunch” came from the same creator, Sherwood Schwartz, who also wrote both theme songs…Also debuting: the original “Hawaii Five-O” on CBS in 1968; the original “Knight Rider” on NBC in 1982; and “Jane and the Fatman” with William Conrad on CBS in 1987…The first of the four “Great Debates” between Republican candidate for president Richard Nixon and Democrat John F. Kennedy aired in 1960. An estimated 70-million viewers tuned in…In 1986, Patrick Duffy as Bobby Ewing returned from the dead on the original “Dallas” on CBS. It was all a dream!

The Beatles last album, “Abbey Road”, was released in the UK in 1969.

In 1969, the trial of the “Chicago Seven” began they were accused of conspiring to incite a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. They were antiwar activists who organized protest marches and rock concerts at the Democratic National Convention which turned into full scale rioting, complete with tear gas and police beatings. The defendants did whatever they could to disrupt the trial through such acts as reading poetry and chanting Hare Krishna.

Celebrity Birthdays
Actress Linda Hamilton (“Beauty and the Beast”) is 67; “Little House on the Prairie” star Melissa Sue Anderson is 61; actor James Caviezel is 55; tennis legend Serena Williams is 42.

Did You Know?
“Gilligan’s Island, which aired for three seasons, was actually renewed for a fourth season. But when CBS changed its mind about canceling western “Gunsmoke” (which had slipped out of the Top 30), it needed the primetime real estate and those seven stranded castaways were given the boot. “Gunsmoke” moved from Saturday to Monday and ultimately finished that next season ranked in a tie with CBS sitcom “Family Affair” at No. 4 overall.  “Gunsmoke” remained on the network until 1975, airing for 20 seasons. And “Gilligan’s Island” segued into four made-for television movies and two animated spin-offs (“The New Adventures of Gilligan” and “Gilligan’s Planet”).