A 1956 Special Predicting the World of 1976?

Roger sent me an e-mail last week, asking about a 1956 television special that may have been called “The Wonderful of World of 1976.” He thinks it was aired in either October or November and predicted what 1976 would look like. It may have been promoted in TV Guide in one of its “Close-Up” boxes with the promise of a repeat in 1976 to see if the predictions had come true. All of Roger’s attempts to identify the special have been unproductive.

I took a stab at finding mention of the special in contemporary television listings and a few other sources but also was unsuccessful. Does it sound familiar to anyone?

On a related note, I did discover that David Sarnoff, founder of NBC and head of RCA for decades, at a dinner honoring his fifty years of service to the radio/television industry, made some interesting predictions about the world of 1976 [1]. For example:

  • The energy of sun rays will be effectively harnessed and in world-wide use.
  • Communication by television, in full color, will be possible around the world. Individuals will be able to hold private two-way conversations, and see each other as they talk, regardless of the distance separating them.
  • Chemical and biological discoveries will greatly expand mankind’s food resources.
  • Jet-propulsion and rocket-type vehicles, using nuclear fuels, will travel at speeds as great as 5,000 miles an hour.

At the same dinner, RCA unveiled three new electronic innovations, including a magnetic tape system that could record both color and black and white television.

Works Cited:

1 “Sarnoff Visions Wonders of 1976.” New York Times. 1 Oct. 1956: 29.

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2 Replies to “A 1956 Special Predicting the World of 1976?”

  1. It might well be a 1955 NBC special called “1976–Your World of Tomorrow”, presented by Dave Garroway and written by George Lefferts.

    I tried a Google news search on the phrase “”The Wonderful World of 1976” and came across this snippet in the Milwaukee Journal of October 8, 1955 mentioning the programme. I found a more detailed description on the National Library of Australia website here.

    I hope this helps.

  2. The intent was to air “76” in 1976. Maybe the kinescope was lost or destroyed. One of things they got wrong was the moon landing.

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