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Today in History: Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Children’s television show “H.R. Pufnstuf”, created by Sid and Marty Krofft, debuted on NBC in 1969.  It ran for three seasons on Saturday morning…Three other short-lived series debuted: “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp” starring Hugh O’Brian on ABC in 1955; “The Pruitts of Southampton” starring Phyllis Diller on ABC in 1966; “He & She” starring Richard Benjamin, Paula Prentiss and Jack Cassidy on CBS in 1968. The character of Cassidy as Oscar was the pattern for Ted Knight as Ted Baxter on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, for which creator Leonard Stern granted permission….An estimated 2.5 billion people watched worldwide television coverage of Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997…At the MTV Video Music Awards: in 1989, comedian Andrew Dice Clay uttered his infamous adult-themed version of Mother Goose nursery rhymes, which prompted executives to ban Clay from the network for life. In 2001, the ceremony, held at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House and hosted by Jamie Foxx, featured Britney Spears‘ famous performance with an Albino python snake for “I’m A Slave 4 U” and a surprise appearance by Michael Jackson joining the boy band ‘NSYNC on-stage…Animated series “The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius” debuted on Nickelodeon in 2002.

William McKinley, the 25th president of the United States (1897–1901), was shot in 1901 at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. He died eight days later.

Musical “Cabaret” closed at Broadhurst Theater in New York City in 1969 after 1,166 performances.

Baseball player Cal Ripken, Jr. played in his 2,131st consecutive game in 1995, surpassing Lou Gehrig’s record, which had stood for more than 56 years…Eddie Murray (Baltimore Orioles) hit his 500th career home run during a game against the Detroit Tigers in 1996. He was only the third person to have at least 3,000 hits and 500 home runs.

Celebrity Birthdays
Comedian JoAnne Worley is 87; singer-bassist Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) is 80; actress Swoosie Kurtz (“Call Me Kat”) is 79; comedian-actor Jane Curtin is 76; actor James Martin Kelly (“Mob City,” ″Magic Mike”) is 69; actor-comedian Jeff Foxworthy is 65; actor-comedian Michael Winslow (“Police Academy”) is 65; news correspondent Elizabeth Vargas is 61; country singer Mark Chesnutt is 60; actress Rosie Perez is 59; singer Macy Gray is 56; singer CeCe Peniston is 54; actor Idris Elba (“Luther”) is 51; actor Justina Machado (Netflix’s “One Day at a Time,” “Jane the Virgin”) is 51; actress Anika Noni Rose (“The Princess and the Frog,” “Dreamgirls”) is 51; actor Justin Whalin (“Lois and Clark”) is 49; singer Nina Persson (The Cardigans) is 49; rapper Foxy Brown is 45; actress Deborah Joy Winans (“Greenleaf”) is 40; singer Max George of The Wanted is 35; five-time NBA All-Star John Wall is 33.

Did You Know?
Sid and Marty Krofft created the H.R. Pufnstuf character for the HemisFair ’68 World’s Fair, where they produced a show called “Kaleidoscope” for the Coca-Cola pavilion. The character’s name was Luther, and he became a mascot for the fair…Swoosie Kurtz’s first regularly scheduled primetime series was NBC comedy “Love, Sydney, which aired on NBC from 1981 to 1983 and featured Tony Randall as a gay man who takes in a single woman (Kurtz) and her young daughter (Kaleena Kiff). “Love, Sydney” was the first series historically to feature a gay character as the central lead.