Television in History

Events in Film & TV

  • 1912-05-08 Film and television production and distribution studio Paramount Pictures is founded
  • 1925-06-13 Charles Jenkins demonstrates the transmission of synchronized pictures and sound (early television)
  • 1925-06-30 Charles Jenkins is granted the U.S. patent for Transmitting Pictures over Wireless (early television)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1926-01-26 John Logie Baird gives the first public demonstration of television in his laboratory in London

Inventor of Television John Logie Baird
Inventor of Television
John Logie Baird
  • 1926-08-18 Weather map televised for 1st time
  • 1927-09-07 Philo Farnsworth demonstrates the first use of his electronic television in San Francisco
  • 1928-01-13 RCA and GE install three test television sets in homes in Schenectady, New York allowing American inventor E.F.W. Alexanderson to demonstrate the first home television receiver which delivered a poor and unsteady 1.5 square inch picture
  • 1928-07-02 The Jenkins Television Corporation (owned by Charles Jenkins) goes on air with W3XK, the first television broadcasting station in the USA
  • 1928-07-03 John Logie Baird demonstrates the first colour television transmission in London
  • 1928-07-12 1st televised tennis match
  • 1929-05-11 1st regularly scheduled TV broadcasts (3 nights per week)
  • 1930-08-20 Dumont's 1st TV broadcast for home reception (NYC)
  • 1931-01-22 VARA begins experimental TV broadcast in Diamantbeurs Amsterdam
  • 1932-02-14 The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show debuts on CBS radio, airing there until 1937, moving to NBC until 1949, and returning to CBS in 1949, before moving to television
  • 1932-08-22 BBC begins experimental regular TV broadcasts
  • 1933-08-23 First televised boxing match — 6-round exhibition at Broadcasting House in London between middleweights Archie Sexton and Lauri Raiteri; aired by BBC-TV

  • 1936-11-02 At 3pm the BBC begins the world's first regular high-definition TV broadcast service from specially constructed studios at Alexandra Palace, North London
  • 1936-11-12 1st ever TV Gardening show "In Your Garden" shown on BBC television
  • 1938-04-30 The first televised FA Cup Final takes place between Huddersfield Town and Preston North End
  • 1939-05-17 1st televised baseball game is broadcast on NBC, with Princeton defeating Columbia 2-1
  • 1939-06-01 First major boxing match on US television is the heavyweight bout from NY's Yankee Stadium between former world champion Max Baer and Lou Nova; Nova wins by TKO in 11th round
  • 1939-09-30 In the first televised college football game, Fordham beats Waynesburg, 34-7 at Randalls Island, NY
  • 1940-02-01 NBC performs the first inter-city television broadcast from its station in New York City to another in Schenectady, New York by General Electric relay antennas.
  • 1940-02-25 1st televised (W2XBS, NYC) hockey game (Rangers vs Canadians)
  • 1940-02-28 1st televised basketball game (U of Pitts beats Fordham U, 50-37)
  • 1940-03-02 The first televised intercollegiate track meet is seen in NYC on W2XBS; NYU wins the meet presented live from Madison Square Garden
  • 1941-05-02 FCC approves regular scheduled commercial TV broadcasts to begin July 1
  • 1946-10-02 1st network soap opera "Faraway Hill" begins broadcasting on DuMont Television Network
  • 1947-01-03 1st opening session of Congress to be televised
  • 1947-05-07 "Kraft Television Theater" premieres on NBC
  • 1947-09-30 In first televised World Series Baseball game, NY Yankees beat Brooklyn Dodgers, 5-3 in Game 1 at Yankee Stadium; also largest WS crowd to date, 73,365

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1947-10-05 Harry Truman makes the 1st Presidential address televised from the White House

33rd US President Harry Truman
33rd US President
Harry Truman
  • 1948-03-18 Philips begin experimental TV broadcasting
  • 1948-03-20 1st live televised musical Eugene Ormandy on CBS followed in 90

Appears on tv showTelevision Premiere

1948-06-08 "Texaco Star Theater" premieres on NBC-TV, with "Mr. Television" Milton Berle made permanent emcee in September of the same year

Comedian and TV Host Milton Berle
Comedian and TV Host
Milton Berle
  • 1948-11-29 1st opera to be televised, "Othello", broadcast from the Met (NYC)

  • 1949-01-20 1st inaugural parade televised, for Harry Truman, watched by 10 million people
  • 1949-02-21 US TV soap opera "A Woman to Remember" is 1st broadcast on DuMont Television Network
  • 1949-04-05 Fireside Theater debuts on US television.
  • 1949-12-29 1st UHF television station operating regular basis Bridgeport, Connecticut
  • 1950-07-10 "Your Hit Parade" premieres on NBC (later CBS) TV (broadcast on radio from 1935)
  • 1950-10-11 The U.S. Federal Communications Commission issues the first license to broadcast television in color, to CBS
  • 1950-10-12 The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show debuts on CBS television, airs until 1958

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1951-06-25 1st color TV broadcast, CBS' Arthur Godfrey from NYC to 4 cities

Radio and TV Host Arthur Godfrey
Radio and TV Host
Arthur Godfrey
  • 1951-08-11 1st televised baseball game in color, on WCBS in New York City (Boston Braves beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 8-1)
  • 1951-09-04 1st transcontinental TV broadcast, by US President Harry Truman
  • 1951-10-02 1st Netherland TV broadcast (Toverspiegel)
  • 1951-12-23 National Football League Championship, LA Memorial Coliseum: Los Angeles Rams beat Cleveland Browns, 24-17; first coast-to-coast televised NFL title game
  • 1951-12-24 1st televised opera (Amahl & Night Visitor)
  • 1952-04-30 Mr Potato Head is 1st toy advertised on television
  • 1952-05-05 "Lucy Does a TV Commercial" (also known as "Vitameatavegamin") episode of "I Love Lucy" premieres, garnering 68% of US television viewers

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

1952-06-05 1st sporting event televised nationally - Jersey Joe Walcott beats Ezzard Charles in 15 for heavyweight boxing title

World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Jersey Joe
World Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Jersey Joe
Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion Ezzard Charles
Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion
Ezzard Charles
  • 1952-10-01 1st ultra high frequency (UHF) television station, Portland Or

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1952-11-30 Jackie Robinson accuses the NY Yankees of racial bias on national television

Baseball Player Jackie Robinson
Baseball Player
Jackie Robinson
  • 1952-12-02 First human birth televised to public on KOA-TV Denver, Colorado
  • 1952-12-03 1st TV broadcast in Hawaii

  • 1953-01-01 The first TV detector van, used to track down users of unlicensed television sets, begins operation in the UK

Appears on tv showTelevision Premiere

1953-02-01 "You Are There" with Walter Cronkite premieres on CBS television

Broadcast Journalist Walter Cronkite
Broadcast Journalist
Walter Cronkite
  • 1953-04-29 The first U.S. experimental 3D-TV broadcast showed an episode of Space Patrol on Los Angeles ABC affiliate KECA-TV
  • 1953-05-25 1st non-commercial educational television station-Houston, Texas
  • 1953-10-31 TV broadcasting begins in Belgium
  • 1953-12-30 The first ever NTSC color television sets go on sale for about USD at $1,175 each from RCA.
  • 1954-03-25 RCA manufactures 1st color TV set (12½" screen at $1,000)
  • 1954-04-22 US Senate Army-McCarthy televised hearings begin
  • 1954-06-17 Televised Senate Army McCarthy hearings ends
  • 1954-07-05 The BBC broadcasts its first television news bulletin
  • 1954-09-01 Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant opens infamous 10-day football mini camp in Junction, Texas; ordeal achieves legendary status becoming subject of 2001 book 'The Junction Boys' & television movie of the same name
  • 1954-09-11 1st Miss America TV broadcast; 19 year old Lee Meriwether of California crowned 27th Miss America

Appears on tv showTelevision Debut

1955-03-07 Musical "Peter Pan", starring Mary Martin broadcast live on NBC as part of "Producers' Showcase" series; attracts a then record 65 million viewers

Actress Mary Martin
Mary Martin
  • 1955-09-22 Commercial television begins in UK with ITV; meanwhile on BBC radio Grace Archer is killed in a barn fire on Brookfield Farm - the BBC denies this was to spoil the launch of the rival network
  • 1955-09-22 With the launch of ITV, the UK's 1st commercial television station, the 1st advert on UK TV airs for Gibbs SR toothpaste
  • 1955-09-28 1st World Series color TV broadcast on NBC-TV (Yanks beat Dodgers)
  • 1955-10-02 "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" premieres on CBS television in the US
  • 1956-03-05 "King Kong" 1st televised
  • 1956-08-06 After going bankrupt in 1955, the American national broadcaster DuMont Television Network makes its final broadcast, a boxing match from St. Nicholas Arena
  • 1956-09-17 Television is first broadcast in Australia.

  • 1956-10-23 First video recording on magnetic tape televised coast-to-coast

Film PremierThe Wizard of Oz

1956-11-03 "The Wizard of Oz" 1st televised (CBS-TV)

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Publicity still of the Wizard of Oz, showing the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Dorothy and Cowardly Lion
Publicity still of the Wizard of Oz, showing the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Dorothy and Cowardly Lion
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Event of interestEvent of Interest

1956-12-18 Phil Rizzuto signs as NY Yankee radio-TV announcer

Sportscaster and MLB Shortstop Phil Rizzuto
Sportscaster and MLB Shortstop
Phil Rizzuto
  • 1957-02-16 The "Toddlers' Truce", a controversial television close down between 6 and 7 pm, abolished in the United Kingdom

BeatificationCatholic Encyclical

1957-09-08 Pope Pius XII encyclical On motion pictures, radio, TV

260th Pope Pius XII
260th Pope
Pius XII
  • 1957-09-22 Western "Maverick" premieres on ABC television starring James Garner
  • 1958-01-15 New York Yankees announce that 140 MLB games to be televised on WPIX TV this season in a deal worth over $1 million dollars
  • 1958-07-01 The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation links television broadcasting across Canada via microwave
  • 1959-07-24 500,000th Dutch TV set registered

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1960-02-26 Vera Miles stars in"Mirror Image" episode of CBS anthology series "The Twilight Zone"

Actress Vera Miles
Vera Miles

Appears on tv showTV Show Appearance

1960-05-12 Elvis Presley appears on a Frank Sinatra television special; Elvis sings Sinatra's 1957 Cy Coleman hit "Witchcraft", and Frank performs Presley's 1956 classic "Love Me Tender"

Singer & Cultural Icon Elvis Presley
Singer & Cultural Icon
Elvis Presley
  • 1960-10-11 Radio/TV executive John Fetzer buys a controlling interest of Detroit Tigers
  • 1960-10-12 Japanese politician Inejiro Asanuma is assassinated with a sword during a televised debate live on TV by 17-year old nationalist Otoya Yamaguchi

Conference meetingConference of Interest

1961-01-25 1st live, nationally televised presidential news conference with JFK

35th US President John F. Kennedy
35th US President
John F. Kennedy
  • 1961-04-14 1st live television broadcast from Soviet Union
  • 1961-12-15 Equal access rule, political parties get TV broadcasting time
  • 1962-03-24 Emile Griffith beats Benny " Kid" Paret by TKO in 12th round in welterweight boxing title fight at MSG, NYC; Paret dies 10 days later; first use of television slow motion replay
  • 1962-04-24 Massachusetts Institute of Technology sends TV signal by satellite for 1st time: California to Massachusetts

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1962-06-11 "Julie & Carol at Carnegie Hall", musical comedy/variety television special with Julie Andrews & Carol Burnett premieres on CBS

Actress and Singer Julie Andrews
Actress and Singer
Julie Andrews
Comedian and Actress Carol Burnett
Comedian and Actress
Carol Burnett
  • 1962-09-01 Channel Television launches to 54,000 households in the Channel Islands.

  • 1963-04-01 American television soap opera premieres: "General Hospital" (ABC) & "Doctors" (NBC)

Music ConcertThe Beatles on Ed Sullivan

1964-02-09 1st appearance of the Beatles on "The Ed Sullivan Show", from New York, draws 73.7 million television viewers

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The Beatles with TV host Ed Sullivan during their first appearance on his show in February 1964
The Beatles with TV host Ed Sullivan during their first appearance on his show in February 1964
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  • 1965-01-28 "The Who" make their 1st appearance on British television programme "Ready Steady Go!"

Appears on tv showTelevision Premiere

1965-04-28 "My Name is Barbra", Barbra Streisand's first television special, premieres on CBS

Singer-Songwriter and Actress Barbra Streisand
Singer-Songwriter and Actress
Barbra Streisand
  • 1966-01-02 National Football League Championship, Lambeau Field, Green Bay: Green Bay Packers beat Cleveland Browns, 23-12; first NFL title game televised in colour; last one played before Super Bowl era
  • 1966-07-01 The first color television transmission in Canada takes place from Toronto.
  • 1966-11-06 1st entire lineup televised in color (NBC)
  • 1966-12-03 Television pop group "The Monkees" make their live concert debut at the Honolulu International Centre Arena, in Hawaii
  • 1967-06-25 First global satellite television program: "Our World" broadcast features 19 acts representing 19 nations including The Beatles singing "All You Need Is Love"
  • 1967-07-01 1st British colour TV broadcast, on BBC 2
  • 1967-11-19 The establishment of TVB, the first wireless commercial television station in Hong Kong
  • 1968-03-07 The BBC broadcasts the news for the first time in color on television
  • 1968-05-02 Israeli television begins transmitting

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1968-12-09 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

Northern Ireland Prime Minister Terence O'Neill
Northern Ireland Prime Minister
Terence O'Neill
  • 1969-06-01 Tobacco advertising is banned on Canadian radio & TV
  • 1969-08-05 The UVF plant their first bomb in the Republic of Ireland, damaging the RTÉ Television Centre in Dublin
  • 1969-11-15 The 1st ever colour television commercial in the UK, for Birds Eye peas, airs on ATV in the Midlands during a Thunderbirds episode
  • 1970-10-05 PBS becomes a US television network.
  • 1970-11-09 The Goodies make their television debut on the BBC
  • 1971-02-14 Movie "Ben Hur" 1st shown on television

  • 1971-02-20 National Emergency Center erroneously orders US radio & TV stations to go off the air. Mistake wasn't resolved for 30 minutes

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1971-12-10 Lucasfilm Ltd. is founded as a film and television production company by George Lucas in San Francisco, California

Film Director George Lucas
Film Director
George Lucas

Music concertMusic Concert

1973-02-06 Drummer Buddy Rich plays influential performance at the Top of the Plaza, Richmond New York, later televised by PBS

Jazz Drummer/Band Leader Buddy Rich
Jazz Drummer/Band Leader
Buddy Rich
  • 1974-02-08 American television soap opera "The Secret Storm" ends a 20 year run on CBS
  • 1974-07-15 TV news reporter Christine Chubbuck shoots herself live on WXLT-TV, Florida, first person to commit suicide in a live broadcast
  • 1975-02-26 1st televised kidney transplant (Today Show)
  • 1975-03-01 Colour television transmissions begin in Australia.

Appears on tv showTV Show Appearance

1975-04-28 Ringo Starr appears on "The Smothers Brothers Show", singing Hoyt Axton's "No No Song", and John Lennon is the guest on Tom Snyder's "Tomorrow" program, in what turns out to be his final television interview

Beatles Drummer Ringo Starr
Beatles Drummer
Ringo Starr
Musician and Beatle John Lennon
Musician and Beatle
John Lennon
  • 1975-09-29 Sharon Dahlonega Raiford Bush becomes American television's first African-American weathercaster.
  • 1976-02-29 ABC-TV broadcasts premiere of 1965's hit "The Sound of Music"

Appears on tv showTelevision Premiere

1976-09-05 Jim Henson's "The Muppet Show" premieres on television with Mia Farrow as the guest star

Muppeteer and Filmmaker Jim Henson
Muppeteer and Filmmaker
Jim Henson

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1976-09-23 US televised presidential debate between Republican incumbent Gerald Ford and Democratic challenger Jimmy Carter

39th US President Jimmy Carter
39th US President
Jimmy Carter
38th US President Gerald Ford
38th US President
Gerald Ford
  • 1976-11-07 "Gone With the Wind" televised
  • 1977-11-26 'Vrillon', claiming to be the representative of the 'Ashtar Galactic Command', takes over Britain's Southern Television for six minutes at 5:12 PM.
  • 1978-03-22 The Rutles mockumentary "All You Need is Cash" debuts on NBC television

Appears on tv showTelevision Premiere

1978-09-12 Situation comedy "Taxi" premieres on ABC television starring Judd Hirsch, Jeff Conaway, Danny DeVito

Appears on tv showTelevision Premiere

1978-12-27 CBS Television's premiere of its version of "Les Miserables", starring Richard Jordan and Anthony Perkins

  • 1979-03-19 US House of Representatives begins live TV broadcasts via C-SPAN

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1979-03-26 41st NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Michigan State beats Indiana State, 75-64; marks start of rivalry between future Hall of Famers Magic Johnson and Larry Bird; highest-rated game in history of televised college basketball

NBA Legend Magic Johnson
NBA Legend
Magic Johnson
NBA Legend Larry Bird
NBA Legend
Larry Bird
  • 1980-11-17 WHHM Television in Washington, D.C., becomes the first African-American public-broadcasting television station

  • 1980-11-21 TV show "Dallas" episode "Who Done It" reveals 'Who Shot J.R.?', gets a then record 53.3 rating (over 83 million viewers, 76% of television watchers) in the US
  • 1981-05-15 SCTV Network 90, sequel to Second City Television, debuts on NBC
  • 1982-03-07 NCAA Tournament Selection televised live for 1st time
  • 1985-01-23 Britains House of Lords debate 1st televised
  • 1985-06-14 "Michael Nesmith In Television Parts" premieres on NBC-TV
  • 1985-11-01 Nostalgia Television begins on cable
  • 1985-12-20 Sportscaster Howard Cosell retires from television sports after 20 years with ABC
  • 1986-02-27 The United States Senate allows its debates to be televised on a trial basis
  • 1987-01-22 Pennsylvania politician R. Budd Dwyer shoots and kills himself at a press conference on live national television, leading to debates on boundaries in journalism
  • 1987-11-22 Two Chicago television stations are hijacked by an unknown pirate dressed as Max Headroom.
  • 1988-01-23 Bob Benoit bowls 1st 300-pt game in a televised title match
  • 1988-12-01 NBC bids a record $401 million to capture television broadcasting rights for the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympic Games
  • 1988-12-02 ESPN airs its 10,000th edition of 'Sports Center', making it the most televised cable program in history
  • 1988-12-09 NY Yankees sign 12-year television contract with MSG for $500M

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1989-10-15 American radio and television evangelist Billy Graham is given the 1,900th star on Hollywood Boulevard, the first clergyman to be granted a star

Evangelist Billy Graham
Billy Graham
  • 1991-04-11 NYC's Museum of Broadcasting becomes "Museum of Radio & Television"
  • 1994-06-20 Howard Stern begins 30-minute (Radio) TV show on E! cable network
  • 1995-04-29 Final TV broadcast of "Empty Nest" on NBC TV

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1995-05-22 TV sitcom Laverne & Shirley 20th anniversary reunion special, televised

Actor and Director Penny Marshall
Actor and Director
Penny Marshall

Appears on tv showTelevision Premiere

1997-03-10 "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" created by Joss Whedon and starring Sarah Michelle Geller premieres on WB Television Network

  • 1997-03-13 Phoenix lights seen at night over Phoenix, Arizona by hundreds of people, and by millions on television. Now a hotly debated controversy.
  • 1998-10-29 ATSC HDTV broadcasting in the United States is inaugurated with the launch of STS-95 space shuttle mission.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1999-05-21 All My Children star Susan Lucci finally wins a Daytime Emmy after being nominated 19 times, the longest period of unsuccessful nominations in television history

Actress, TV Host and Entrepreneur Susan Lucci
Actress, TV Host and Entrepreneur
Susan Lucci
  • 1999-06-02 The Bhutan Broadcasting Service brings television transmissions to the Kingdom for the first time
  • 2001-03-04 IRA detonates a bomb in front of the BBC Television Centre in London, injuring 11 people

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2002-07-24 On 200th anniversary of his birth French author Alexandre Dumas' ('The Three Musketeers') ashes are interred in the Panthéon in Paris in a televised ceremony

  • 2002-10-30 British Digital terrestrial television (DTT) Service Freeview begins transmitting in parts of the United Kingdom.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2004-11-30 Longtime "Jeopardy!" champion Ken Jennings of Salt Lake City, Utah finally loses, leaving him with $2,520,700 USD, television's all-time biggest game show haul

74 Time Jeopardy Champion Ken Jennings
74 Time Jeopardy Champion
Ken Jennings
  • 2006-09-01 Luxembourg becomes the 1st country to complete the move to all digital television broadcasting
  • 2006-09-18 Right wing protesters riot the building of the Hungarian Television in Budapest, Hungary, one day after an audio tape was made public, in which Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány admitted he and his party lied during the 2006 general elections.
  • 2007-07-27 Two News helicopters from Phoenix, Arizona television stations KNXV and KTVK collide over Steele Indian School Park in central Phoenix while covering a police chase; there were no survivors. Worst civil aviation incident in Phoenix history.

AgreementAgreement of Interest

2008-05-04 Seth MacFarlane reaches an agreement worth $100 million with Fox to keep "Family Guy" and "American Dad" on television until 2012, making MacFarlane the world's highest paid television writer

  • 2009-06-12 TSC: All television broadcasts in the United States switch from analog NTSC to digital ATSC transmission.
  • 2012-09-02 A decades-long ban on veiled female news presenters is lifted from State television in Egypt

Sport awardSuper Bowl

2014-02-02 Super Bowl XLVIII, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ: Seattle Seahawks beat Denver Broncos, 42-8; MVP: Malcolm Smith, Seattle, LB

NFL Player Richard Sherman
NFL Player
Richard Sherman
  • 2016-01-27 On This Day receives its second substantial face-lift, courtesy of a fresh new website design and brand by design studio Fhoke. Dedicated history and film and television channels are launched alongside the new design.
  • 2017-11-04 Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigns in a shock TV broadcast from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, amid concerns he is being forcibly detained
  • 2018-03-10 Two girls aged 8 and 6 become the first female weightlifters to appear on Iranian television after a protest
  • 2018-03-21 China announces greater controls over the media, including merging state-run radio and television broadcasters into a single conglomerate called “Voice of China”
  • 2018-10-07 Jodie Whittaker debuts in her first full episode as the 13th and first female Doctor Who on BBC television
  • 2018-12-01 World's first super-high definition 8K television channel by Japanese broadcaster NHK launches
  • 2021-05-26 Amazon says it will buy 97-year-old film and television studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for $8.45 billion

Famous TV Stars