4th of July — 40, 55 and 68 Years Ago

Here’s a look at what was on television in prime time 40, 55 and 68 years ago. You’ll notice that with the exception of a 1974 hour-long NBC special, there were no programs dedicated to celebrating the 4th of July. It’s certainly possible that some of the ABC musical-variety programs (The Dick Clark Show, Jubilee U.S.A. and The Lawrence Welk Show) featured patriotic music.

The Library of Congress has in its collection an audio recording of the July 4th, 1946 episode of WNBT’s Hour Glass, which may also have mentioned the 4th of July holiday.

40 Years Ago – Thursday, July 4th, 1974

ABC
  8:00PM Chopper One (repeat)
  8:30PM Firehouse (repeat)
  9:00PM Kung Fu (repeat)
10:00PM The Streets of San Francisco (repeat)

CBS
  8:00PM The Waltons (repeat)
  9:00PM Telefilm: Applause (repeat)

NBC
  8:00PM The Dean Martin Comedy World
  9:00PM Ironside (repeat)
10:00PM The Stars and Stripes Show

55 Years Ago – Saturday, July 4th, 1959

ABC
  7:30PM The Dick Clark Show
  8:00PM Jubilee U.S.A.
  9:00PM The Lawrence Welk Show
10:00PM Local Programming*

CBS
  7:30PM Perry Mason (repeat)
  8:30PM Wanted: Dead or Alive (repeat)
  9:00PM Brenner
  9:30PM Have Gun, Will Travel (repeat)
10:00PM Gunsmoke (repeat)
10:30PM Markham

NBC
  7:30PM People Are Funny (repeat)
  8:00PM Perry Como Presents (color)
  9:00PM Black Saddle (repeat)
  9:30PM Cimarron City (repeat)
10:30PM The D.A.’s Man

68 Years Ago – Thursday, July 4th, 1946

(Schedules for stations in New York City)

WCBW
8:15PM Milo Boulton, News
8:30PM Cartoon Show
8:45PM Operations Crossroad
9:00PM Prudence Indeed

WNBT
7:50PM Television Reporter
8:00PM Hour Glass
9:00PM American Business–Film
9:20PM Famous Fights–Film

WABD
8:00PM Tell Me Doctor
8:15PM Here’s Morgan
8:30PM Films
9:00PM Cash and Carry, Quiz

*ABC aired Music from Manhattan (formerly The Sammy Kaye Show) from 10-10:30PM until June 13th, 1959. When that show went off the air, the network appears to have returned that half-hour to its affiliates.

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1 Comment

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    “HERE’S MORGAN” was one of Henry Morgan’s early attempts to adapt his rambling radio monologues to TV {“Well, tonight’s the Fourth of July- just the kind of evening to light firecrackers, and blow your fingers off….”}.

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