This Day in Pop Culture for August 5

American Bandstand

1950: ‘American Bandstand’ Premieres

Though known by many as American Bandstand the show actually began in 1950 on local TV station WFIL-TV Channel 6 in Philadelphia. Simply known as Bandstand, the show was hosted by Bob Horn and featured short musical films which some consider to be predecessors to the music video. Not understanding that he was ahead of his time, Horn wanted the show changed to show teenagers dancing to hit songs. This new format debuted in 1952. Four years later, Horn was fired after a drunk-driving arrest. This is when Dick Clark stepped in. The show went national with the name changed to American Bandstand on this day in 1957. The show initially appeared during the afternoon on weekdays before becoming a Saturday morning staple. It is reported that the only person to ever co-host the show with Clark was Donna Summer who appeared on May 27, 1978 to help promote the movie, Thank God It’s Friday. The show aired for the last time in 1987. In 2004, Clark announced that he and Ryan Seacrest were working on a revival of the show for the 2005 season, but due to his stroke in 2004, the new version never materialized.


1733: Freedom of the Press

In 1733, New York publisher John Peter Zenger printed a newspaper to spout off on his disagreement with policies of the newly appointed colonial governor William Cosby. Zenger was charged with seditious libel. After serving eight months in prison, Zenger had his day in court and on this day in 1733, he was found not guilty. Lawyers in the case presented the idea that even if information can be defamatory, it cannot be considered libelous if the story can be proved to be true.


  • 1880: Ruth Sawyer (author)
  • 1930: Neil Armstrong (astronaut)
  • 1945: Loni Anderson (actress)
  • 1970: James Gunn (film director)

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