Today in Soap Opera History (January 16)

1978: One Life to Live and General Hospital each
expanded to an hour.
"A page of history is worth a pound of logic."
― 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...

1958: On The Edge of Night, Mike Karr (John Larkin) warned Toni Fescina of the danger if she tried to get hush money from Roy Benson.

1967: On Dark Shadows, Sam Evans (David Ford) woke up and tried to put out the fire, burning his hands in the process. Maggie Evans (Kathryn Leigh Scott ) came in and put the fire out, as Sam frantically claimed that Laura Collins (Diana Millay) burned his hands. Roger (Louis Edmonds) believed booze to be the culprit in Sam's accident. Sam accused Laura of causing it to happen. Roger Collins decided to destroy the new painting but found it had already been burnt. Sam was shocked as the fire wasn't anywhere near the painting.

1967: On Peyton Place, Rachel Welles (Leigh Taylor-Young) accepted an offer to stay at the home of Constance Mackenzie (Dorothy Malone) and Elliot Carson (Tim O'Connor).

1968: On The Doctors, Dr. Maggie Powers (Bethel Wilson) broke up a heated argument between Dr. John Rice (Terry Kelso) and Dr. Nick Bellini (Gerald Gordon).

1973: On Another World, Louise (Anne Meacham) eavesdropped when Alice (Jacqueline Courtney) phoned Mary and Jim to have her things removed from Steve's house and shipped to her.

1978: One Life to Live and General Hospital each expanded to from 45 to 60 minutes per episode.

1980: On As the World Turns, Lisa (Eileen Fulton) was not thrilled to see Joyce Colman (Barbara Rodell), who stopped by the bookstore claiming she wanted to make amends for the past.

1981: Wesley Eure aired for the final time as Mike Horton in Days of our Lives. Read our interview with Eure here.

1985: On Guiding Light, Tony Reardon (Greg Beecroft) suggested to his wife, Annabelle (Harley Kozak), that they leave Springfield.

1992: On Days of our Lives, Carrie Brady (Tracy Middendorf) told her father, Roman (Wayne Northrop), that she had decided to leave Salem.

1998: On The Young and the Restless, Phyllis Summers Romalotti (Sandra Nelson) broke down in the courthouse after losing custody of her son, Daniel, with only her attorney, Michael Baldwin (Christian LeBlanc), left to comfort her.

Thanks to FoxCrane for sending in the item above.

2008: After departing in 2005, Rebecca Budig returned as Greenlee Smythe on All My Children.

Thanks to Enrique for sending in the item above.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Harry Basch (ex-Armistead, General Hospital; ex-Vince, Falcon Crest) - 89
Ellen Holly (ex-Carla, One Life to Live; ex-Judge Collier, Guiding Light) - 84
Ronnie Milsap (Guest Star, Another World) - 69
John Driver (ex-Gary, Search for Tomorrow; ex-Kevin, The Edge of Night) - 68
Debbie Allen (Catherine, Grey's Anatomy; Director, Grey's Anatomy; Scandal) - 65
Anders Hove (Faison, General Hospital) - 59
Marian Tomas Griffin (ex-Mary, Another World) - 47
Josie Davis (ex-Grace, The Young and the Restless) - 42
Trent Ford (ex-Jean Paul, The West Wing; Trevor, The Vampire Diaries) - 36
Jake Epstein (ex-Craig, Degrassi: The Next Generation) - 28
Yvonne Zima (ex-Daisy, The Young and the Restless) - 26

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to submit a soap history entry for this date or a future date, email

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