1951: The World Falls in Love with Lucy
The CBS sitcom, I Love Lucy starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley debuted on this day in 1951. The series began with Lucy and Ricky Ricardo living in an apartment building where their landlords, Fred and Ethel Mertz served as the couple’s best friends. During the show’s second season, “Little Ricky” was born whose birth was timed to match Lucy’s real-life delivery of the couple’s son Desi Arnaz Jr. When the blessed (TV Show) event happened on January 19, 1953, over 70% of all households were tuned into the show. The show was the most-watched TV show in the U.S. for four of the series’ six year of broadcasting. Even today it is estimated that reruns of I Love Lucy is enjoyed by 40 million Americans every year. The show won five Emmy awards and in 2012, it was voted the “Best TV Show of All Time” by ABC News and People Magazine.
2004: Child Safety Seats No Longer Needed
A stroke of genius arose on this day in 2004 when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ruled that hearse manufacturers were no longer required to install anchors for child-safety seats in their motor vehicles. The same agency had required that all carmakers to require the anchors in 1999 and many of the hearse makers complied. A petition was created in 2004 that read, “Since a funeral coach is a single-purpose vehicle, transporting body and casket, children do not ride in the front seat.”
- 1935: Barry McGuire (singer)
- 1937: Linda Lavin (actress)
- 1943: Penny Marshall (film director)
- 1945: Jim Palmer (baseball player)
- 1953: Tito Jackson (singer)
- 1959: Sarch, Duchess of York
- 1959: Emeril Lagasse (chef)
- 1979: Jaci Velasquez (singer)
- 1999: Bailee Madison (actress)
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.