On This Day

Events in Film & Television in 1968

  • Jan 1 ABC radio splits into 4 networks (Info, Entertainment, Contemp & FM)
  • Jan 1 WDCO TV channel 15 in Cochran, GA (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jan 2 KBHK TV channel 44 in San Francisco, California (IND) begins broadcasting
  • Jan 4 Leo Fender sells Fender Guitars for $13 million to CBS
  • Jan 7 "GE College Bowl" quiz show premieres on NBC TV
  • Jan 12 Nighttime version of "Hollywood Squares" premieres on NBC TV
  • Jan 15 KDCD TV channel 18 in Midland, TX (IND) begins broadcasting
  • Jan 19 WKBF TV channel 61 in Cleveland, Ohio (IND) begins broadcasting

Film Premiere

Jan 20 Arthur Penn's film "Bonnie and Clyde" premieres in Paris, France with stars Warren Beatty & Faye Dunaway in attendance

  • Jan 22 "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" premieres on NBC
  • Feb 5 KDTV TV channel 39 in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas (IND) begins broadcasting
  • Feb 6 KESD TV channel 8 in Brookings, SD (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Feb 7 WLED TV channel 49 in Littleton, NH (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Feb 8 "Planet of the Apes" premieres in New York City

Golden Globes

Feb 12 25th Golden Globes: "In the Heat of the Night", Rod Steiger, & Edith Evans win

  • Feb 14 WHKY TV channel 14 in Hickory, NC (IND) begins broadcasting
  • Feb 15 WVUT TV channel 22 in Vincennes, IN (PBS) begins broadcasting

Music History

Feb 22 Rock group Genesis release their 1st record "Silent Sun"

Film & TV History

Feb 27 CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite delivers a scathing editorial on America's chances of winning the Vietnam War

  • Mar 1 NBC's unprecedented on-air announcement, Star Trek will return
  • Mar 7 The BBC broadcasts the news for the first time in color on television
  • Mar 14 CBS TV suspends Radio Free Europe free advertising because RFE doesn't make it clear it is sponsored by the CIA

Television Debut

Mar 17 Bee Gees make their US TV debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show" performing "To Love Somebody" and "Words"

  • Mar 18 WVER TV channel 28 in Rutland, VT (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Mar 18 WVTA TV channel 41 in Windsor, VT (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Mar 25 KLVX TV channel 10 in Las Vegas, NV (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 1 KEMO (now KOFY) TV channel 20 in San Francisco, California (IND) 1st broadcast

Film Premiere

Apr 2 "2001 A Space Odyssey" directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood, premieres at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C.

Film Premiere

Apr 3 "Planet of the Apes", starring Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowell premiers nationally in the United States

  • Apr 8 40th Academy Awards postponed to Apr 10th due to death of Martin Luther King
  • Apr 8 WKPI TV channel 22 in Pikeville, Kentucky (PBS) begins broadcasting

Music Premiere

Apr 10 Musical "George M!", based on the life of Broadway star George M. Cohan, opens at Palace Theater NYC for 435 performances

  • Apr 10 40th Academy Awards: "In the Heat of the Night", Rod Steiger & Katherine Hepburn win
  • Apr 11 WHED TV channel 15 in Hanover, NH (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 24 ABC Masters Bowling Tournament won by Pete Tountas
  • May 2 Israeli television begins transmitting

Music Single

May 11 Irish actor Richard Harris releases single "MacArthur Park"; it becomes a million-seller topping the charts in Canada and Australia, and peaking at #2 in US and #4 in UK

  • May 12 WSKG TV channel 46 (PBS) in Binghamton, NY, begins broadcasting

Film Premiere

May 15 "Wonderwall" with music by George Harrison, premieres at Cannes Film Festival

TV Show Appearance

May 15 Paul McCartney & John Lennon appear on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson", to promote Apple Records, Joe Garagiola is substitute host

  • May 19 20th Emmy Awards: "Get Smart", "Mission Impossible" & Barbara Bain win
  • May 21 Paul McCartney and girlfriend Jane Asher attend an Andy Williams concert
  • May 21 WEKW TV channel 52 in Keene, NH (PBS) begins broadcasting

Film & TV History

May 31 Movie star James Stewart retires from the US Air Force after 27 years of service

  • Jun 2 WBLG (now WTVQ) TV channel 62 in Lexington, KY (ABC) 1st broadcast
  • Jun 6 WKHA TV channel 35 in Hazard, KY (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jun 10 "Danny Thomas Hour" last airs on NBC-TV
  • Jun 10 KCFW TV channel 9 in Kalispell, MT (ABC/NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Jun 10 WHTV (now WTZH) TV channel 24 in Meridian, MS (NBC/CBS) 1st broadcast
  • Jun 12 U.S. premiere of horror film "Rosemary's Baby", based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Ira Levin
  • Jun 17 KQEC TV channel 32 in San Francisco, California (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jun 21 18th Berlin International Film Festival: "Who Saw Him Die?" wins the Golden Bear
  • Jul 9 BBC-TV broadcasts "Farewell", folk-rock band The Seekers final performance, draws 10 million viewers
  • Jul 14 WSWO TV channel 26 in Springfield, OH (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Jul 15 "One Life to Live", American soap opera, premieres on TV
  • Jul 17 The Beatles' animated film "Yellow Submarine" premieres in London
  • Aug 1 WXIX TV channel 19 in Cincinnati-Newport, OH (IND) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 4 WXTV TV channel 41 in New York-Paterson, NY (UNI) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 5 WMCV (now WZTV) TV channel 17 in Nashville, TN (IND) 1st broadcast
  • Aug 25 29th Venice Film Festival: "Artists Under the Big Top: Perplexed" directed by Alexander Kluge wins Golden Lion

Telethon

Sep 2 Jerry Lewis' 3rd Muscular Dystrophy telethon

  • Sep 9 WGIQ TV channel 43 in Louisville, AL (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 9 WVPT TV channel 51 in Staunton, VA (PBS) begins broadcasting

Television Premiere

Sep 15 "Barbra Streisand: A Happening in Central Park" premieres on CBS TV

  • Sep 15 WUAB TV channel 43 in Lorain-Cleveland, Ohio (IND) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 15 WXON TV channel 20 in Detroit, MI (IND) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 16 KLNI (now KADN) TV channel 15 in Lafayette, LA (IND) begins
  • Sep 18 "Funny Girl" biopic film based on life of Fanny Brice premieres, directed by William Wyler, starring Barbra Streisand and Omar Sharif
  • Sep 21 Police drama "Adam-12" debuts on NBC in the US
  • Sep 22 KMTC (now KDEB) TV channel 27 in Springfield, MO (IND) 1st broadcast
  • Sep 23 WKAS TV channel 25 in Ashland, KY (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 23 WKGB TV channel 53 in Bowling Green, KY (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 23 WKLE TV channel 46 in Lexington, KY (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 23 WKMA TV channel 35 in Madisonville, KY (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 23 WKMR TV channel 38 in Morehead, KY (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 23 WKON TV channel 52 in Owenton, KY (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 23 WKSO TV channel 29 in Somerset, KY (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Sep 23 WKZT TV channel 23 in Elizabethtown, KY (PBS) begins broadcasting

Television Premiere

Sep 24 "60 Minutes" premieres on CBS-TV

  • Sep 24 "That's Life" premieres - A Broadway musical type TV show
  • Sep 26 1st broadcast of "Hawaii Five-O" on CBS-TV
  • Sep 26 "Oliver!" directed by Carol Reed and starring Mark Lester and Ron Moody premieres in London (Best Picture 1969)

Music History

Sep 28 "Noël Coward's Sweet Potato" opens at Barrymore NYC for 17 performances

Music Single

Sep 30 The Supremes release single "Love Child"

Film Premiere

Oct 1 Cult zombie film "Night of the Living Dead" directed by George A. Romero, starring Duane Jones and Judith O'Dea premieres in Pittsburgh

  • Oct 5 KPLM (now KESQ) TV channel 42 in Palm Springs, CA (ABC) begins
  • Oct 9 WKMU TV channel 21 in Murray, KY (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Oct 12 "Noël Coward's Sweet Potato" closes at Barrymore Theater, NYC, after 17 performances
  • Oct 16 American Bob Seagren, Claus Schiprowski of West Germany and East German Wolfgang Nordwig all record 5.40m in the final of the pole vault at the Mexico City Olympics; Seagren awarded gold on countback

Film Release

Oct 17 "Bullitt" directed by Peter Yates and starring Steve McQueen and Jacqueline Bisset is 1st released

  • Oct 26 KMIR TV channel 36 in Palm Springs, CA (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Nov 1 Noël Coward's "Sweet Potato" opens at Booth Theater NYC for 36 performances
  • Nov 4 WRDU (now WPTF) TV channel 28 in Raleigh-Durham, NC (NBC) 1st broadcast
  • Nov 4 WTOG TV channel 44 in St Petersburg-Tampa, FL (IND) 1st broadcast
  • Nov 6 The film "Head" starring the Monkees opens in New York.
  • Nov 12 KSEL (now KAMC) TV channel 28 in Lubbock, TX (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Nov 14 U.S. premiere of film version of Morris L. West's best seller "The Shoes of the Fisherman"
  • Nov 17 KHNE TV channel 29 in Hastings, NB (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Nov 17 "Heidi Game", NBC cuts to show "Heidi" and misses Raider's rally to beat Jets, 43-32
  • Nov 21 The Supremes & The Temptations release "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me"
  • Nov 22 1st interracial TV kiss (Star Trek - Captain Kirk and Uhura)
  • Nov 23 Musical revue "Noël Coward's Sweet Potato" closes at Booth Theatre, NYC, after 44 performances
  • Nov 25 15th National Film Awards (India): "Hatey Bazarey" wins the Golden Lotus
  • Dec 3 NBC Elvis comeback special airs
  • Dec 6 WKID (WSCV) TV channel 51 in Fort Lauderdale, FL (IND) 1st broadcast
  • Dec 9 KRNE TV channel 12 in Merriman, NB (PBS) begins broadcasting

Film & TV History

Dec 9 Terence O'Neill, Northern Ireland Prime Minister, makes a television appeal for moderate opinion in what became known as the 'Ulster stands at the Crossroads' speech

  • Dec 11 KECC (now KECY) TV channel 9 in El Centro, CA (CBS) 1st broadcast
  • Dec 12 Rolling Stones film TV show "Rock 'n Roll Circus"- never aired
  • Dec 16 KFIZ TV channel 34 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin begins broadcasting

Film Premiere

Dec 16 Musical-fantasy film "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", co-written by Roald Dahl and director Ken Hughes, starring Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes, with songs by Sherman and Sherman, premieres at the Odeon Leicester Square theater, London

  • Dec 18 Musical-fantasy film "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", co-written by Roald Dahl and director Ken Hughes, starring Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes, with songs by Sherman and Sherman, premieres in NYC
  • Dec 19 WCWB (now WMGT) TV channel 41 in Macon, GA (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 24 WATU (now WAGT) TV channel 26 in Augusta, GA (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 28 KVOF (KUDO, now KWBB) TV channel 38 in San Francisco, California (IND) 1st broadcast

Music Recording

Dec 30 Frank Sinatra first records "My Way" with lyrics were written by Paul Anka and based on the French song "Comme d'habitude"