On This Day

Events in Film & Television in 1955

  • Jan 1 WEAT (now WPEC) TV channel 12 in West Palm Beach, FL (CBS) begins
  • Jan 2 1st "Bob Cummings Show" premieres on NBC (later on CBS)
  • Jan 5 KMSP TV channel 9 in Minneapolis-St Paul, MN (IND) 1st broadcast
  • Jan 7 WCIQ TV channel 7 in Mt Cheaha, AL (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jan 8 WUNC TV channel 4 in Chapel Hill, NC (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jan 10 "Ordet", directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer, starring Henrik Malberg, Emil Hass Christensen, is released
  • Jan 19 "The Millionaire" TV program premieres on CBS
  • Jan 23 KORK (now KVBC) TV channel 3 in Las Vegas, Nevada (NBC) 1st broadcast

Historic Communication

Feb 2 1st presidential news conference on network TV-Eisenhower on ABC

  • Feb 12 WTVY TV channel 4 in Dothan, AL (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Feb 13 KRCG TV channel 13 in Jefferson City, MO (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Feb 14 WFLA (now WXFL) TV channel 8 in Tampa-St Petersburg, Florida (NBC) begins
  • Feb 17 KTVF TV channel 11 in Fairbanks, AK (CBS/ABC) begins broadcasting

Musical Finale

Feb 26 Leigh, Charlap, Styne, Comden and Green's musical "Peter Pan", starring Mary Martin and Cyril Ritchard, closes at Winter Garden Theater, NYC, after 152 performances

  • Mar 1 KFAR (now KATN) TV channel 2 in Fairbanks, AK (ABC/NBC) 1st broadcast
  • Mar 5 WBBJ TV channel 7 in Jackson, TN (ABC) begins broadcasting

Emmy Awards

Mar 7 7th Emmy Awards: "Make Room for Daddy", Danny Thomas & Loretta Young win

  • Mar 7 Musical "Peter Pan", starring Mary Martin broadcast live on NBC as part of "Producers' Showcase" series; attracts a then record 65 million viewers
  • Mar 15 WLEX TV channel 18 in Lexington, KY (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Mar 20 KXTV TV channel 10 in Sacramento, CA (CBS) begins broadcasting

Television Debut

Mar 27 Steve McQueen makes his network TV debut (Goodyear Playhouse, episode "The Chivington Raid")

  • Mar 27 WPRI TV channel 12 in Providence, Rhode Island (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 1 WTVT TV channel 13 in Tampa-St Petersburg, FL (CBS) 1st broadcast

Film Premiere

Apr 11 "Marty" directed by Delbert Mann and starring Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair premieres in New York (Best Picture 1956)

  • Apr 14 WBRZ TV channel 2 in Baton Rouge, LA (ABC/NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 24 KFDM TV channel 6 in Beaumont, TX (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 24 KMAU (now KGMV) TV channel 3 in Wailuku, HI (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 28 WBIQ TV channel 10 in Birmingham, AL (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • May 2 WGBH TV channel 2 in Boston, MA (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • May 10 8th Cannes Film Festival: "Marty" directed by Delbert Mann wins Palme d'Or
  • May 15 KPUA (now KGMD) TV channel 9 in Hilo, HI (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • May 21 WFRV TV channel 5 in Green Bay, Wisconsin (ABC/NBC) begins broadcasting
  • May 27 "The Red Buttons Show", last airs on NBC-TV
  • May 30 KMVT TV channel 11 in Twin Falls, ID (CBS/NBC/ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Jun 3 KLFY TV channel 10 in Lafayette, LA (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jun 4 "Mickey Rooney Show" TV comedy last airs on NBC
  • Jun 7 "$64,000 Question" hosted by Hal March, premieres on CBS TV
  • Jun 10 KWEX TV channel 41 in San Antonio, TX (IND) begins broadcasting
  • Jun 12 TV comedy "Mister Peepers" starring Wally Cox airs for last time on NBC
  • Jun 12 Monitor (full weekend program) begins on NBC radio network

Film Release

Jun 22 Walt Disney's animated film "Lady & the Tramp" released

  • Jun 24 5th Berlin International Film Festival: "The Rats" wins Golden Bear (audience vote)
  • Jun 25 "Imogene Coca Show" last airs on NBC-TV
  • Jun 27 "Julius LaRosa Show" debuts on CBS-TV

Television Debut

Jun 30 "Johnny Carson Show" debuts on CBS-TV

  • Jul 1 KOTA TV channel 3 in Rapid City, SD (ABC/NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Jul 2 "Lawrence Welk Show" premieres on ABC
  • Jul 15 WNDU TV channel 16 in South Bend, IN (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Jul 16 "Golden Horseshoe Revue" 1st of 50,000+ performances, Disneyland
  • Jul 17 Disneyland televises its grand opening in Anaheim, California.
  • Jul 31 KRNT (now KCCI) TV channel 8 in Des Moines, Iowa (CBS) 1st broadcast
  • Jul 31 WHIS (now WVVA) TV channel 6 in Bluefield, West Virginia (NBC) 1st broadcast
  • Aug 1 WILL TV channel 12 in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 7 KSTF TV channel 10 in Scottsbluff-Gering, NB (CBS/NBC) begins
  • Aug 12 WPBT TV channel 2 in Miami, FL (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 15 WXEX TV channel 8 in Richmond-Petersburg, VA (ABC) begins
  • Aug 25 16th Venice Film Festival: "Ordet" directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer wins Golden Lion
  • Aug 26 1st color telecast (NBC) of a tennis match (Davis Cup)
  • Aug 26 "Pather Panchali", Indian film directed by Satyajit Ray, starring Subir Banerjee, Kanu Banerjee and Karuna Banerjee, is released
  • Aug 31 KTRE TV channel 9 begins broadcasting in Lufkin, Texas (ABC/NBC affiliate)
  • Sep 1 KARD (now KSNW) TV channel 3 in Wichita, KS (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 2 KCRA TV channel 3 in Sacramento, CA (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 3 KTBS TV channel 3 in Shreveport, LA (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 5 WKRG TV channel 5 in Mobile, AL (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 5 WTTW TV channel 11 in Chicago, IL (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 10 "Gunsmoke" premieres on CBS TV
  • Sep 11 KTVT TV channel 11 in Fort Worth-Dallas, TX (IND) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 12 KNTV TV channel 11 in San Jose, CA (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 15 WCTV TV channel 6 in Tallahassee-Thomasville, Florida (CBS) begins
  • Sep 22 On BBC radio Grace Archer is killed in a barn fire on Brookfield Farm - the BBC denies this was to spoil the launch of rival network ITV

Britain's First-Ever TV Ad

Sep 22 Commercial television begins in the UK with the launch of ITV, soon airs the 1st advert on UK TV, for Gibbs SR toothpaste

  • Sep 24 "The Judy Garland Special" kicks off the anthology performance series "Ford Star Jubilee" on CBS-TV
  • Sep 28 1st World Series color TV broadcast on NBC-TV (Yanks beat Dodgers)
  • Sep 28 WITN TV channel 7 in Washington, NC (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 29 "Sergeant Preston" debuts on CBS

Film & TV History

Sep 30 American actor and cultural icon James Dean is killed in a car crash aged 24

  • Oct 1 WORA TV channel 5 in Mayaguez, PR (TCI) begins broadcasting
  • Oct 1 Jackie Gleason's sitcom "The Honeymooners" debuts on CBS, replacing his variety series; production ends after 39 episodes
  • Oct 2 "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" premieres on CBS television in the US
  • Oct 2 WHTN (now WOWK) TV ch 13 in Huntington-Charleston, WV (CBS) begins
  • Oct 3 "Captain Kangaroo" premieres on CBS-TV, Good Morning, Captain!
  • Oct 3 WDBJ TV channel 7 in Roanoke, VA (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Oct 3 WTVS TV channel 56 in Detroit, MI (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Oct 20 "No Time for Sergeants" opens on Broadway, starring Andy Griffith

Historic Publication

Oct 20 Publication of "The Return of the King", the 3rd and final volume of "The Lord of the Rings" by J. R. R. Tolkien by George Allen and Unwin in London

  • Oct 22 WWNY TV channel 7 in Carthage-Watertown, NY (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Oct 27 "Rebel Without a Cause", directed by Nicholas Ray, starring James Dean and Natalie Wood, is released
  • Nov 19 KXMB TV channel 12 in Bismarck, North Dakota (CBS/ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Nov 21 KTVO TV channel 3 in Ottumwa-Kirksville, IA (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Nov 28 KMVI (now WMAU) TV channel 12 in Wailuku, HI (IND) begins broadcasting
  • Nov 28 KTHV TV channel 11 in Little Rock, AR (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 3 KTVE TV channel 10 in Monroe-El Dorado, LA (NBC) begins broadcasting

Film Release

Dec 8 Black Ealing comedy "The Ladykillers", directed by Alexander Mackendrick and starring Alec Guinness is released in the UK

Film Premiere

Dec 12 Film adaptation of "The Rose Tattoo", starring Anna Magnani and Burt Lancaster, premieres at the Astor Theatre in Times Square, NYC

  • Dec 21 2nd National Film Awards (India): "Mirza Ghalib" wins the Golden Lotus

Music History

Dec 29 Barbra Streisand's 1st recording "You'll Never Know" at age 13