1939: Irna Phillips' THE RIGHT TO HAPPINESS premiered on the NBC Blue Network. This spinoff of radio's THE GUIDING LIGHT initially focused on TGL character Rose Kransky. Eventually the character of Carolyn Allen (played first by Eloise Kummer and most memorably and longest by Claudia Morgan) took center stage, and she remained the central character of the program (eventually becoming the most-married radio soap opera heroine, with four husbands) until the series ended on November 25, 1960, the day that network radio soap operas died. Listen to an episode here.
1970: On ANOTHER WORLD, Rachel (Robin Strasser) told Lenore (Judith Barcroft) she didn't return the trust fund right away because she had been miserable thinking no one cared about whether she lived or died after her break up with Russ
1972: EMMERDALE FARM (just EMMERDALE since 1989) premiered on ITV. Read about the show's 40th anniversary week plans here.
1974: Welsh-language television soap POBOL Y CWM premiered. Like EMMERDALE, it's still on the air today.
1985: Rusty Cundieff aired for the final time as Theo Carver in DAYS OF OUR LIVES. Theo was shot and killed by Richard Cates (Rod Arrants) and died in his brother's (Abe) arms.
1985: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, Lily instantly disliked Holden when she met him at the stables. You can buy this episode on "The Story of Lily & Holden" DVD from Soap Classics.
1987: Duke Lavery (Ian Buchanan) and Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) were married on GENERAL HOSPITAL.
1991: Joseph Gallison aired for the final time as Neil Curtis in DAYS OF OUR LIVES.
1992: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Isabella Toscano Black (Staci Greason) died.
1996: Actress Gertrude Flynn died at age 87. She played Anna Sawyer in early episodes of DAYS OF OUR LIVES.
1997: Actress Audra Lindley died at age 79. She played Liz Matthews on ANOTHER WORLD from 1964-1969. Her other daytime roles included Barbara Barnett in THE EDGE OF NIGHT, Sue Knowles in SEARCH FOR TOMORROW and Laura Tompkins in FROM THESE ROOTS.
2001: SMALLVILLE premiered on The WB.
Celebrating a birthday today are:
Michael Tylo (ex-Quint, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Matt, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Charlie, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Blade, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS; ex-Sherman, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL) - 64
Martha Smith (ex-Sandy, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 60
Ellen Dolan (Bag Lady, EMPIRE; ex-Margo, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-Maureen, GUIDING LIGHT) - 57
David 'Shark' Fralick (ex-Larry, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 50
Kellie Martin (Nicole, ARMY WIVES) - 37
Jeremy Jackson (ex-Young Derek, SANTA BARBARA) - 32
EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to submit a piece of soap opera history for this daily column, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.