― Oliver Wendell Holmes
"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: On Bachelor's Children, Sam (Olan Soule) was relieved to learn that Janet had safely given birth to a healthy child after a grueling, perilous labor. Sam's relief was so great that he appeared to be in shock and could only respond to questions with grunts and murmurs. Janet was exhausted but ecstatically happy, and moved by the fact that her baby daughter's Christmas morning birth was accompanied by caroling from a nearby church.
1967: On The Doctors, Matt (James Pritchett) talked the Hope Memorial janitor, Sam Kringle (Paul Price), into playing Santa Claus instead of him.
1973: On Days of our Lives, Mickey (John Clarke) and Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) shared their first Christmas together.
1973: On As the World Turns, Frannie Hughes was born.
1974: On The Edge of Night, the citizens of Monticello celebrated Christmas, and Danny Micelli (Lou Criscuolo) continued to mourn his beloved wife Babs.
1979: On All My Children, Joey (Jake) Martin was born.
1980: On Guiding Light, Alan (Christopher Bernau) surprised Hope (Elvera Roussel) by taking her back to their island. Later, the annual Cedars Christmas story and a gathering at Bert's where Mike (Don Stewart) sang.
1981: On The Doctors, Madison celebrated Christmas, and rallied around Luke Dancy (Frank Telfer) in the hospital.
1981: On General Hospital, Luke (Anthony Geary), Tiffany (Sharon Wyatt) and more performed for the children at the hospital.
Thanks to Tricia for sending in the item above.
1984: ABC aired the final episode of primetime soap opera Paper Dolls.
1986: On EastEnders, Dirty Den gave Angie divorce papers for Christmas. The episode was watched by 30 million viewers.
1986: On Search for Tomorrow, Jo (Mary Stuart) worried her Christmas dreams would not come true.
1986: On All My Children, Palmer (James Mitchell) proposed to Daisy (Gillian Spencer).
1995: On As the World Turns, the Hughes family gathered at Tom and Margo's house to celebrate Christmas. Bob read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to the children. Watch it here.
1996: On Another World, Ryan's (Paul Michael Valley) ghost continued to watch over Vicky (Jensen Buchanan). Laura Moss and Lindsay Lohan debuted in the roles of Amanda Cory and Alli Fowler.
2001: Days of our Lives aired a special episode celebrating the magic of Christmas.
2006: On EastEnders, Pauline Fowler (Wendy Richards) dropped dead in Albert Square gardens, but how or why she died was not immediately clear and would lead to a "Who Killed Pauline Fowler?" story. Richards had been an original cast member since the show's debut in 1985. Per the Daily Mail, this Christmas Day episode was the second most watched program of the day on British television with an estimated 10.7 million viewers.
Thanks to FoxCrane for sending in the item above.
Celebrating a birthday today are:
John Capodice (ex-Lloyd, Ryan's Hope; ex-Carmine, General Hospital) - 73
Gary Sandy (ex-Hank, As the World Turns; ex-Randy, Somerset; ex-Michael, Another World; ex-Stace, The Secret Storm; ex-Terrence, The Young and the Restless) - 69
Barbara Mandrell (ex-Alex, Sunset Beach) - 66
Scott Crawford (ex-Sergio, As the World Turns; ex-Charles, All My Children) - 65
CCH Pounder (ex-Irene, Warehouse 13; ex-Sharon, Revenge) - 62
Dean Howell (ex-Rick Days of our Lives; ex-Roy, Santa Barbara) - 52
Edward Rayden (ex-Michael, Days of our Lives) - 51
EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to submit a soap history entry for this date or a future date, email email@example.com.