Tag Archive for TV history

Happy Original Star Trek Day!

Today in 1966, the first episode of “Star Trek” aired on network television. “The Man Trap” wasn’t the first episode produced, or even the pilot, but network execs thought a salt-sucking monster would grab good ratings. Today it would just earn the crew of the Enterprise an unwanted nutrition lesson from a heart-healthy cook at the Food Network and be replaced with a totally waxed and buff monster who craves Mrs. Dash.

“Star Trek” went on for a few seasons, then was cancelled and people forgot about it. In another universe. In this one, the fans are totally responsible for yelling “Clear!” and zorching the Enterprise until Captain Kirk breathed again. Considering that they were a generation without Twitter and the Internet, that was quite a feat. The franchise continues boldly going after a host of movies and shows, but the next step in the Trekverse will truly be a bold if sad first step: the upcoming J.J. Abrams ‘Star Trek” sequel will be the first canon Trek movie/show ever to not feature Majel Barrett Roddenberry. She has been on screen as a character or off-screen as the computer voice for every single incarnation of “Star Trek.” She passed away in 2008 after finishing voice work on the 2009 reboot.

Celebrate today by exploring the hilariously fun Google Doodle or by watching your favorite episodes. Live long and prosper!

Disneyland Day

Today in 1955, Walt Disney jump-started the dreams of every kid who thought fairy tales were only for cartoons when he opened Disneyland, a 160-acre theme park near Anaheim, California. Disney partnered with ABC-TV to complete the park, a cunning strategy that involved televising the limited grand opening and instantly creating a mad desire in children everywhere to explore Frontierland, Fantasyland, Adventureland and Tomorrowland. Not only would the park be regularly featured on television, there were also picture books about the destination so children would have something tangible to use when hammering their parents for a special trip.

While there were many problems with that first day, including gas leaks, not enough water fountains and a heat wave to rival this year’s drought, Disney’s vision took hold and the park fixed the problems, added rides and became profitable by its’ second year. Later that was ratcheted up to “insanely profitable,” as Disney now has theme parks dotted around the world.

Celebrate today by dressing up as your favorite character, whether it’s Jafar or Tinker Bell. Just because Comic-Con is over doesn’t mean you can’t liven up the office with some frightening cosplay.

 

Photo credit: Flickr/Metro Transportation Library and Archive