Today in Soap Opera History (March 16)

1971: DS' Bramwell was distraught over the prospect of losing
Daphne. 1984: RH's Maeve and Johnny received a donation
from the community.  1990: GH's Jerry and "Duke" shot each
other. 2001: OLTL's Blair slipped off the Palace Hotel roof.
"Mankind are so much the same, in all times and places, that history informs us of nothing new or strange in this particular. Its chief use is only to discover the constant and universal principles of human nature."
― David Hume

"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...

1942: Irna Phillips' radio soap opera THE GUIDING LIGHT returned to NBC Radio.  After GL was canceled by sponsor Procter & Gamble (last airing on December 26, 1941), listeners sent over 75,000 letters in protest, leading General Mills to pick up the show 11 weeks later.  GL was canceled again on November 29, 1946, but returned again on June 2, 1947, this time on CBS Radio and once again sponsored by P&G.

1970: On ANOTHER WORLD, Steve Frame (George Reinholt) flirted with Bernice Robinson (Janis Young) but she wanted to keep things strictly business between the two of them. Meanwhile, Rafe Carter (Phil Sterling) offered Sam Lucas (Jordan Charney) a junior partnership and offered to show him around Somerset.

1971: Joanne Dorian aired for the final time as Victoria Lord on ONE LIFE TO LIVE. Dorian had replaced Gillian Spencer, the original Viki, in October 1970. Erika Slezak assumed the role on March 17, 1971 and played Viki (and her alters) for the next 42 years.

1971: On DARK SHADOWS, Morgan Collins (Keith Prentice) returned to normal after James Forsythe's spirit left his body. Meanwhile, Josette (Mary Cooper) told Bramwell (Jonathan Frid) that Daphne (Kate Jackson) was dying.

1984: On RYAN'S HOPE, Johnny (Bernard Barrow) and Maeve Ryan (Helen Gallagher) accepted a check for $40,000 to help rebuild Ryan's Bar. Maeve sang "Danny Boy" in celebration.

1987: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Chris Kositchek (Josh Taylor) questioned Adrienne's (Judi Evans) story about Duke.

1990: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Julian Jerome (Jason Culp) and Jonathan Paget/Duke Lavery (Greg Beecroft) shot each other during a struggle for a gun.

1992: On GUIDING LIGHT, Alexandra (Beverlee McKinsey) pressured Roger (Michael Zaslow) to find a way to split up Nick and Mindy. "Just remember, I can hurt you and I will," Alex told him.

2001: On ONE LIFE TO LIVE, Todd Manning (Roger Howarth) reached for Blair (Kassie DePaiva) to try to catch her when she feel off the Palace Hotel roof. At the end of the closing credits, ABC congratulated Erika Slezak on her 30th anniversary with the show.

2004: On ALL MY CHILDREN, Bianca (Eden Riegel) took off with Babe after Erica's (Susan Lucci) press conference. Meanwhile, Kendall (Alicia Minshew) confronted her mother over her harsh words, and learned that Erica blamed her for Bianca's decision to keep Miranda.

Thanks to Enrique for sending in the item above.

2005: Actor Anthony George died at age 84. His soap career included roles in DARK SHADOWS (Burke Devlin, Jeremiah Collins), SEARCH FOR TOMORROW (Tony Vincente) and ONE LIFE TO LIVE (Will Vernon) .

2005: On THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, Victor Newman (Eric Braeden) surprised Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) with a trip to Italy.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Harding Lemay
Granville Van Dusen (ex-D.V., PORT CHARLES; ex-Keith, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 71
Victor Garber (ex-Frank, GUIDING LIGHT) - 66
Erik Estrada (ex-Eduardo, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL) - 66
Lauren Graham (ex-Sarah, PARENTHOOD; ex-Lorelai, GILMORE GIRLS) - 48
Brooke Burns (ex-Vanessa, MELROSE PLACE) - 37
Lindie Van Eeden (ex-Karen, EGOLI: PLACE OF GOLD) - 37
Felisha Terrell (Kali, TEEN WOLF; ex-Arianna, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 36
Stephanie Gatschet (ex-Madison, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Tammy, GUIDING LIGHT) - 32
Alexandra Daddario (ex-Rachel, PARENTHOOD; ex-Laurie, ALL MY CHILDREN) - 29
Kristopher Higgins (ex-Peter, THE SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER) - 28

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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