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Today in History: Wednesday, October 4, 2023

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Classic sitcom “Leave It To Beaver, with Jerry Mathers as young Theodore Cleaver (aka “the Beaver”), premiered on CBS in 1957. It moved to NBC in season two (through six), and was revived as made-for TV movie “Still the Beaver” in 1983 and spin-off series “The New Leave It to Beaver” from 1984-89. For more on “Leave It To Beaver”, click here…Also debuting was CBS sitcom “December Bride” in 1954, which spun-off “Pete and Gladys” with Harry Morgan and Cara Williams in 1960; CBS dramatic anthology “Playhouse 90” in 1956; and “Beverly Hills, 90210” from Aaron Spelling on Fox in 1990, which ran for 10 seasons…Animated futuristic fantasy cartoon “Thundarr the Barbarian” opened on Saturday morning in 1980. A total of 21 half-hour episodes were produced.

John Lennon released album “Walls & Bridges” featuring No. 1 single “Whatever Gets You thru the Night” in 1974.

The Orient Express departed on its first official journey from Paris to Istanbul in 1883…In 1954, Marilyn Monroe announced her intention to obtain a divorce from baseball legend Joe DiMaggio on the grounds of mental cruelty. They had been married less than 9 months.

The Dick Tracy comic strip by Chester Gould debuted in newspapers in 1931. Dick Tracy made his first comic book appearance in 1936 as one of the features included in the first issue of Dell’s “Popular Comics. The first comic book to feature Tracy exclusively was the “Dick Tracy Feature Book”, published in May 1937. Dick Tracy made his film debut in “Dick Tracy” in 1937, a 15-chapter movie serial. There were also four feature films, produced by RKO Radio Pictures, a 1950-51 TV series, the 1990 film with Warren Beatty in the title role, an animated series in 1961, and much more.

Original Comic Art:Comic Strip Art, Chester Gould - Dick Tracy Daily Comic Strip Original Art, dated12-8-31 (News Syndicate, 1931). "Take another step and I'll...

Celebrity Birthdays
Country singer Leroy Van Dyke is 94; actress Felicia Farr (“The Player,” “Kotch”) is 91; author Anne Rice is 82. actress Lori Saunders (“Petticoat Junction”) is also 82; actor Clifton Davis (“Madam Secretary,” “Amen”) is 78; Oscar winner Susan Sarandon is 77; actor Alan Rosenberg (“Cybill,” ″L.A. Law”) is 73; Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (“Inglorious Basterds”) is 67; “Coach” star Bill Fagerbakke is 66; actress Kyra Schon (“Night of the Living Dead”) and rap producer Russell Simmons are also 66; actor David W. Harper (“The Waltons”) is 62; singer Jon Secada is also 62; media personality John Melendez (aka “Stuttering John”) is 58; actor Jerry Minor (“Dr. Ken,” ″Community”) is 56; “Ray Donovan” star Liev Schreiber is also 56; actor Abraham Benrubi (“Men in Trees,” ″ER”) is 55; actress Alicia Silverstone (“Clueless”) is 48; actress Rachel Leigh Cook (“Josie and the Pussycats,” ″She’s All That”) is 44; “Supergirl’s” Melissa Benoist is 35; actress Dakota Johnson (“Fifty Shades of Grey”) is 34.

Did You Know?
Legend has it that “Leave it to Beaver” was the first series to show a toilet on television, but that is only half true. In the second episode of the sitcom, “Captain Jack,” Beaver and Wally (Tony Dow) need a home for their baby alligator and they choose the toilet tank. We never did actually see the toilet itself…“Beverly Hills 90210” reboot “90210” had a five season run on The CW  from 2008 to 2013. During the first two seasons, cast members from the original series made appearances, including Jennie GarthShannen DohertyTori SpellingAnn Gillespie and Joe E. Tata. More recently was the odd “BH90210” on Fox for six episodes is the summer of 2019.