Today in Soap Opera History (July 20)

1966: Dark Shadows' David was angry with his father.
1984: Guiding Light's Josh and Reva got heated in the hot tub.
1988: Days of our Lives' Salemites through Kayla a surprise shower.
2010: One Life to Live's Viki plotted to reunie David and Dorian.
"History never looks like history when you are living through it."
― John W. Gardner

"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 General Hospital, Angie Weeks (Jana Taylor) asked Nurse Jessie Brewer (Emily McLaughlin) for advice.

1966: On Dark Shadows, David Collins (David Henesy) told Victoria Winters (Alexandra Moltke) that he hated his father, Roger (Louis Edmonds).

1972: On Another World, Alice (Jacqueline Courtney) told Jim, Russ, and Cindy that she and Steve would be taking a trip to St. Croix after he stopped off to see Jamie on his way to Washington.

1979: On The Edge of Night, after Paige Madison (Margaret Colin) agreed to meet secretly with Jed (Philip Kraus), Tobias instructed Jed to kill her.

1984: On Guiding Light, things got heated for Reva (Kim Zimmer) and Josh (Robert Newman) in the hot tub.

1988: On Days of our Lives, Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) was given a surprise bridal shower, while the men took Steve (Stephen Nichols) to The Cheatin' Heart for his bachelor party.

1990: On General Hospital, Dawn Winthrop (Jennifer Guthrie) married Ned Ashton (Kurt McKinney). After the wedding, Dawn overheard her mother, Monica Quartermain (Leslie Charleson) talking with her new husband about their affair. Dawn took off with Decker Moss (Michael Watson) in a red Ferrari from the Quartermaine garage. The clip below picks up at that point (continued on the Monday, July 23, 1990 episode).

1993: Mary Beth Evans debuted as Katherine Bell on General Hospital.

Thanks to Enrique for sending in the item above.

2001: On The Young and the Restless, the Assistant U.S. Attorney arrived, but Paul (Doug Davidson) would not show him any evidence until he guaranteed Isabella's (Eva Longoria) immunity.

2003: Actor Joseph Della Sorte died at age 69. He played the Ghost of Sergio in Dark Shadows.

2010: On One Life to Live, Dorian Lord (Robin Strasser) caught her love, David Vickers (Tuc Watkins) in bed with arch-nemesis Viki Banks (Erika Slezak). Later, Viki and Charlie Banks (Kerwin) explained their plan to get David and Dorian back together.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Diana Rigg (Lady Olenna, Game of Thrones) - 77
Lee Garlington (Eleanor, Mistresses) - 62
Donna Dixon (ex-Allison, Berrenger's) - 58
Dean Winters (ex-Ryan, Oz) - 51
Reed Diamond (Harold, Wayward Pines; ex-Jules, State of Affairs; ex-George, Loving) - 48
Michael Park (ex-Jack, As the World Turns; ex-Dirk, Steamboat; ex-Richard, Gotham) - 47
Josh Holloway (ex-Sawyer, Lost) - 46
Sandra Oh (ex-Cristina, Grey's Anatomy) - 44
Simon Rex (ex-Eddie, Monarch Cove) - 41
Judy Greer (Cheryl, Archer) - 40
Tracey McCall (ex-Jezabelle, Undressed) - 38
Jamey Giddens (Daytime Confidential)
Percy Daggs III (ex-Wallace, Veronica Mars) - 33

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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