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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Let's All Go to Sesame Street

This Day in History: November 10, 1969

 Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?

November 10 is...
Sesame Street Day

Big Bird - The very first Muppet
to appear on the show.
This fall Sesame Street started its 45th season on PBS. So, it is only fitting today to step back in time to its beginning...the era of Generation X. After five test shows and years of preparation, Sesame Street premiered on NET (National Educational Television, a precursor of PBS) on November 10, 1969.

The show was an instant success amid positive reviews, some controversy and high ratings. Sesame Street remained popular over the decades because of the creativity of the puppets, aka Muppets, combined with smart pre-school learning. At first the show's human actors and Muppets did not interact. With the creation of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, the setting soon changed as humans and Muppets interacted during street scenes.
 Sesame Street Original Cast
Taking a cue from "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In," a popular 1960s variety show, "Sesame Street" was built around short, often funny segments featuring puppets, animation and live actors. This format was hugely successful, although over the years some critics have blamed the show and its use of brief segments for shrinking children's attention spans. Source: This Day in History
 Season 1 Opening

Big Bird on Cue

Sesame Street was the brainchild of...

The inspiration for Sesame Street originated with the fact that children were already addicted to television. So, why not produce something fun but educational! The addition of Jim Henson's Muppets was the icing on the cake!
In 1966, Joan Ganz Cooney hosted what she called "a little dinner party" at her apartment near Gramercy Park. In attendance was her husband Tim Cooney, her boss Lewis Freedman, and Lloyd Morrisett, an executive at the Carnegie Corporation, in which the potential of television to teach young children was discussed. Cooney was chosen to oversee and direct the creation of what eventually became the children's television program Sesame Street, which premiered in 1969, and the CTW, the organization that oversaw its production. Cooney was named CTW's first executive director. As one of the first female executives in American television, her appointment was called "one of the most important television developments of the decade". Source: en.wikipedia.org
There are some surprising stories behind the Muppets, how they came to be, some from rags, others recycled from TV shows and commercials. Often times, whatever happened to be left around found its way into a character.
Surprising Stories Behind 20 Muppets
Still going strong in the 21st century...

Since its inception, over 74 million Americans have watched "Sesame Street." Today, an estimated 8 million people tune in to the show each week in the U.S. alone.
Muppet Character Debuts:

Sesame Street: Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Ernie, Bert, Cookie Monster, Lefty the Salesman, Roosevelt Franklin, Roosevelt Franklin's Mother, Professor Hastings, Little Bird, Betty Lou, Guy Smiley, Grover, Anything Muppets

Related Articles:

How We Got to 'Sesame Street'
Muppet Wiki
Sesame Street - Premiere (1969) - Part 1