Today in Soap Opera History (January 28)

1980: ATWT's Barbara told Tom about the son she gave away (Paul).
1980: The Edge of Night's Margo needed surgery to survive.
1994: All My Children's Brooke had a nightmare.
2004: John Clarke ended his run on Days of our Lives.

"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...

1965: On Peyton Place, Michael (Ed Nelson) told Constance (Dorothy Malone) that Elliot belonged in the past. "Michael, he's here now," Connie told him in an effort to make him see it wasn't that easy. "So am I," Mike replied.

1972: On Another World, Ada (Constance Ford) promised Rachel (Margie Impert) she wouldn't do anything foolish with what Ernie left her. Impert, who took over as Rachel a month earlier, would only last two more weeks in the role. Executive producer Paul Rauch convinced the original Rachel, Robin Strasser, to return to the soap for four months until Victoria Wyndham was hired.

1980: On As the World Turns, Barbara (Colleen Zenk) confessed to Tom (Tom Tammi) that she had a son with another man three years earlier and gave him to Claudia Colfax and her husband, Raymond, to raise.

1980: On The Edge of Night, surgery was Margo's (Ann Williams) only hope to survive.

1985: On Santa Barbara, Veronica was in grave danger from Peter.

1985: Actor Dennis Parker, best known to soap fans as Police Chief Derek Mallory on The Edge of Night, died at age 38.

1986: NASA Space Shuttle orbiter Challenger (OV-099) (mission STS-51-L) broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members.

1987: On Ryan's Hope, Delia (Ilene Kristen) prepared her new boutique Deja Vu for its grand opening.

1991: On Guiding Light, as Josh (Robert Newman) prepared to leave town, he told Billy (Jordan Clarke) that Vanessa was going to be named CEO of Lewis Oil in his absence.

Thanks to Na'Vell for sending in the item above.

1993: On Days of our Lives, Doug (Bill Hayes) and Julie (Susan Seaforth Hayes) moved to Switzerland.

1994: On All My Children, a distraught Brooke (Julia Barr) had a nightmare which included an older Laura, her daughter that was killed by a drunk driver.

2004: Original cast member John Clarke aired for the final time as Mickey Horton on Days of our Lives.

2009: ITV aired the 7,000th episode of CORONATION STREET.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Nicholas Pryor (ex-Victor, Port Charles; ex-Joel, The Edge of Night; ex-Linc, All My Children, ex-Ted, Another World; ex-Paul, Love is a Many Splendored Thing; ex-Johnny, The Secret Storm; The Brighter Day) - 80
Renne Jarrett (ex-Eileen, Love of Life; ex-Phoebe/Bebe, The Edge of Night; ex-Shirley, The Inner Flame) - 79
Alan Alda (ex-Arnold, The West Wing) - 79
John Beck (ex-Bruce, Passions; ex-Sam, Days of our Lives; ex-Mark, Dallas; ex-Sam, Flamingo Road) - 72
Harley Jane Kozak (ex-Annabelle, Guiding Light; ex-Mary, Santa Barbara; ex-Brette, Texas) - 58
Keith Hamilton Cobb (ex-Damon, The Young and the Restless; ex-Noah, All My Children) - 53
Terri Conn (ex-Aubrey, One Life to Live; ex-Katie, As the World Turns) - 40
Daniel Manche (ex-J.J., As the World Turns; ex-Tom, One Life to Live) - 22

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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