This Day in Pop Culture for November 10

1969: Access to ‘Sesame Street’ is Open

Sesame Street aired for the first time on PBS on this day in 1969. The show was the result of talks between TV producer Joan Ganz Cooney and Carnegie Foundation vice president Lloyd Morrisett. From the beginning, the show featured short films, skits, songs and more hosted by live actors and Jim Henson’s Muppets. In 1981, when the federal government withdrew its funding, the Children’s Television Workshop turned to other revenue sources, including lucrative royalties on books and items based on the show’s characters. In 1999, the show featured a separate segment, “Elmo’s World” due to the popularity of the loved red Muppet. By the show’s 40th anniversary, it was being broadcast in more than 140 countries. Sesame Street has won 13 Emmy Awards and eight Grammy Awards and yet, we still do not know how to get there. Beginning in 2015, Sesame Street began a partnership with HBO airing new episodes on both networks. The show’s 51st season will begin on HBO in 2021. (Image: Wikipedia)

1985: The First Windows

Remember when you first heard the phrase, “computers are the future?” In 1985, the future had come in the form of Windows 1.0. After Microsoft had created the Apple Computer’s very first programs for the original Macintosh computer, Bill Gates introduced the company’s own program on this day which was released to the public on November 20, 1985. The package included things such as MS-Dos Executive, an anolog clock, a calculator, calendar, clipboard viewer, notepad, the programs Write and Paint and the game Reversi. Though initially impressed, some people felt that the system fell short of expectations. You only needed 256 KB of memory to run it. On December 31, 2001, Microsoft stated that the program was now obsolete. (Image: Wikipedia)

1953: ‘Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom’ Comes to Theaters

Walt Disney’s first cartoon to be released in Cinemascope was released on this day in 1953. Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom is an educational “Adventures in Music” animated short film that had a long life in public schools teaching children about music long after its initial theater viewing. The film begins with Professor Owl teaching his students about music. (In more recent years, this scene has been used for the opening of many of the Disney’s Sing-a-Long videos) The study of musical instruments included four core sounds: Toot (brass), Whistle (woodwind), Plunk (strings) and boom (percussion) with each presented as caveman character. The short won the 1954 Oscar for Best Short Subject.

Movies Released

  • Babel (2006)
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog (2021)
  • Daddy’s Home 2 (2017)
  • Happy Land (1943)
  • Murder on the Orient Express (2017)
  • My Left Foot (1989)
  • Paddington 2 (2017)
  • Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
  • The Polar Express (2004)
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
  • Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom (1953)

TV Series Debuts

  • Sesame Street (1969)

Famous Birthdays

  • 1891: Carl Stalling (composer)
  • 1909: Johnny Marks (composer)
  • 1914: Billy May (composer)
  • 1944: Tim Rice (lyricist)
  • 1945: Donna Fargo (songwriter)
  • 1948: Aaron Brown (journalist)
  • 1950: Debra Hill (screenwriter)
  • 1954: Bob Stanley (baseball coach)
  • 1956: Sinbad (comedian)
  • 1959: Mackenzie Phillips (actress)
  • 1968: Tracey Morgan (actor)
  • 1969: Ellen Pompeo (actress)
  • 1994: Zoey Deutch (actress)
  • 1999: Kiernan Shipka (actress)

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