On this day 70 years ago, President Harry Truman recorded the first televised White House address—a plea on behalf of starving people in post-war Europe. He called on Americans to refrain from eating meat on Tuesdays and poultry on Thursdays, in order to stockpile grain for donating as food aid… (1947)
He also suggested that everyone consume one fewer slice of bread per day ahead of the expected winter famine overseas. When the pioneering speech was aired, there were only 44,000 televisions in the country—mostly in big cities.
MORE Good News on this Day:
- Portugal‘s Republic Day celebrates overthrow of its monarchy to a new republic (1910)
- The first documented Narcotics Anonymous meeting was held (1953)
- The first Beatles single, “Love Me Do,” was released in Britain, a moment their manager Brian Epstein said that changed the world (1962)
- Monty Python’s Flying Circus was first broadcast on the BBC (1969)
- The first female news anchor in the US, broadcaster Barbara Walters, co-hosted the ABC Evening News (1976)
- Mass demonstrations led to Serbian strongman Slobodan Milošević resigning (2000)
- The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation launched to combat issues that force families and individuals into economic despair —learn about their “pay what you want” restaurant in New Jersey (2006)
Also on this day in 1966, after moving to London, Jimi Hendrix played with drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding for the first time — The Jimi Hendrix Experience was formed. All three of the power trio’s studio albums, Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love, and Electric Ladyland, were featured in the top 100 of the Rolling Stone list of Greatest Albums of All Time. WATCH a performance of Stone Free and Foxy Lady.
And, on this day in 1970, PBS formed as the Public Broadcasting Service. The independently operated non-profit is one of the most popular American charities, with its brand on programs that are beloved national institutions: Nature, Nova, NewsHour, Antiques Roadshow, and Austin City Limits. For airing children’s shows like Sesame Street and Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, PBS became every parent’s best friend. Founded by Hartford Gunn Jr. in Boston, the American broadcaster distributes programming to over 350 public television member stations. All the shows listed above, and many more programs about history, the arts, and current events–and fictional dramas and comedies–are mainly produced by member stations, such as WGBH in Boston and WETA in DC, or imported from other producers such as the BBC.