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Today in Soap Opera History (September 21)

1979: Baby John Ross Ewing III made his first appearance in
DALLAS. 1979: Dan Stewart's funeral was held on ATWT.
1981: GH's Luke Spencer saved the world! 2011: AMC's Martin
family got together and reflected on the past.

"In history, a great volume is unrolled for our instruction, drawing the materials of future wisdom from the past errors and infirmities of mankind."
― Edmund Burke

"Today in Soap Opera History" is a collection of the most memorable, interesting and influential events in the history of scripted, serialized programs. From birthdays and anniversaries to scandals and controversies, every day this column celebrates the soap opera in American culture.

On this date in...

1939: Radio station WJSV in Washington, D.C. recorded their entire broadcast day. From 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. the following day a "time capsule" was created for posterity. Of important note is Franklin D. Roosevelt's speech to Congress encouraging repeal of the U.S. Neutrality Law. Here are synopsis for the daytime soap operas that aired that day:

BACHELOR'S CHILDREN - Sam explained to his wife, Janet, how bills were brought before the legislature.

BIG SISTER - Ruth and her fiance, Dr. John Wayne, planpned a day in the country, when a young friend collapsed while talking with them. Ruth visited a seamstress who was his close family friend, who offered to make her wedding dress.

BRENDA CURTIS - Brenda's husband, Jim, was fearful of losing his biggest case and was annoyed with Brenda's receiving an offer to return to the stage.

THE GOLDBERGS - Molly Goldberg became suspicious of the new chauffeur, George Stark, who was delivering a mysterious baby somewhere, and had nervous mannerisms. Jake disregarded Molly's concern.

LIFE CAN BE BEAUTIFUL - Steven Hamilton was depressed about his having been crippled and unable to work in Henderson's law office. Kate Henderson visited, and convinced both Chichi and Steve that he was still useful to the firm.

THE ROMANCE OF HELEN TRENT - Helen had set up a dress shop in partnership with Chris Wilson, and she was faced with the dilemma of whether or not to hire a spoiled girl to help with design.

THIS DAY IS OURS - Eleanor had reservations about her coming marriage with Curt which were aggravated by their friends' (the Simpsons) marital problems.

WHEN A GIRL MARRIES - Joan and Harry discussed their plans for marriage, and Harry was troubled by a client's possible change of lawyers.

1976: On ANOTHER WORLD, Pat (Beverly Penberthy) was disgusted when John (Michael M. Ryan) brought up saving her from a murder charge in the past.

1979: John Ross Ewing III first appeared on DALLAS in the episode titled "Whatever Happened to Baby John?, Part 1." Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) returned to Southfork and neglected returning to Dallas to visit John Ross, much to the chagrin of the rest of the family. Bobby (Patrick Duffy) took it upon himself to run interference for J.R. (the Larry Hagman, who would have turned 82 today) when Cliff (Ken Kercheval) continued poking around the hospital.



1979: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, friends and family remember Dan Stewart at his funeral service.



1981: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Luke (Anthony Geary) finally figured out the correct password to the weather machine saving Port Charles...and the world!



2006: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Jack (Matthew Ashford) and Jennifer (Melissa Reeves) left for England.



2011: On ALL MY CHILDREN, the Martin family reflected on the past.



Celebrating a birthday today are:
Stephen King (Writer, UNDER THE DOME; HAVEN) - 66
Bill Buell (ex-Judge Walker, GUIDING LIGHT) - 61
Gregory Mortensen (ex-Paul, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Dale, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 58
Rebecca Balding (ex-Carol, SOAP) - 58
David James Elliott (ex-Ripp, GOOD CHRISTIAN BELLES; ex-Terry, MELROSE PLACE) - 53
Susan Batten (ex-Connor, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-Luna, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 52
Rob Morrow (ex-Joel, NORTHERN EXPOSURE) - 51
Stan Cahill (ex-Bascombe,  ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 49
Jason MacDonald (ex-Young Larry/Principal Fletcher, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Bailiff Evans/Chip, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Minister, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-Harry, GUIDING LIGHT) - 47
Adam Lazarre-White (ex-Nathan, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 44
Billy Porter (ex-Billy, ANOTHER WORLD) - 44
Bradford Anderson (Spinelli, GENERAL HOSPITAL) - 34
Scott Evans (ex-Oliver, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Trey, GUIDING LIGHT) - 30
Maggie Grace (ex-Shannon, LOST) - 30

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to submit a piece of soap opera history for this daily column, please email it to editor@welovesoaps.com.

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