Today in Soap Opera History (July 8)

1966: Dark Shadows' Burke gave Carolyn false info on his return.
1991: Another World's Cass saved Kathleen, then took her on a caper.
1992: Aaron Spelling primetime soap Melrose Place premiered.
2002: Days of our Lives' Gemini Twins were rescued.
"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...

1935: Radio soap opera Girl Alone premiered. Betty Winkler starred as Patricia Rogers. The cast included future Days of our Lives patriarch Macdonald Carey.

1949: The radio version of The Brighter Day, which premiered on October 11, 1948, aired on NBC for the final time. The show moved to CBS Radio the following Monday.

1957: On The Edge of Night, Liz slapped Clayton and threatened to send him back to jail.

1966: On Dark Shadows, Carolyn (Nancy Barrett) visited (Mitchell Ryan) Burke Devlin's hotel suite in an attempt to learn what happened between him and Roger (Louis Edmonds). Later, Carolyn invited the family enemy into the mansion, re-introducing Devlin to her aunt, Elizabeth.

1980: On Another World, Rachel (Victoria Wyndham) told Ada (Constance Ford) it would break Mac's heart if he knew Mitch was the father of her baby.

1981: On General Hospital, Victor Cassadine (Thaao Penghlis) ordered his men to find Alexandria Quartermaine.

1985: On Ryan's Hope, Katie (Julia Campbell) fell down the stairs while arguing with Maggie (Cali Timmins).

1990: Actor Howard Duff died at age 76. He starred in primetime soap Flamingo Road and guest-starred in Knots Landing and Dallas.

1991: On Another World, Cass (Stephen Schnetzer) dragged Kathleen (Julie Osburn) away during her performance of "America the Beautiful" in order to save her from Carl Hutchins (Charles Keating).

1992: Aaron Spelling's primetime soap opera Melrose Place, a spin-off of Beverly Hills, 90210, premiered on FOX.

1996: Guiding Light debuted an electric guitar version of its "Hold On to Love" theme.

Thanks to Enrique for sending in the item above.

1997: Taye Diggs first aired as Adrian "Sugar" Hill on Guiding Light. Also in the episode, Michelle realized Jesse could not read, and Eleni overheard Phillip, Harley, Buzz and Jenna's plans for the sting operation.

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

2002: On Days of our Lives, Belle (Kirsten Storms) and Shawn (Jason Cook) rescued two 'aliens' from their space pod. Eric Winter and Alexis Thorpe debuted as Rex and Cassie.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Anjelica Huston (ex-Eileen, Smash) - 64
Kevin Bacon (ex-Ryan, The Following; ex-Tim, Guiding Light; ex-Todd, Search for Tomorrow) - 57
David Elliott (ex-Billy, The Doctors) - 56
Lori Hallier (ex-Shannon, Santa Barbara) - 56
Robert Knepper (ex-Samuel, Heroes) - 56
Valarie Pettiford (ex-Mary, True Blood; ex-Shelia, One Life to Live; ex-Courtney, Another World) - 55
Lee Tergesen (ex-Officer Boone, Army Wives; ex-Peter, Desperate Housewives; ex-Tobias, Oz) - 50
Michael Weatherly (ex-Cooper, Loving; ex-Cooper, The City) - 47
Kathleen Robertson (Jodi, Bates Motel; ex-Clare, Beverly Hills, 90210) - 42
Milo Ventimiglia (Sean, The Whispers; ex-Peter, Heroes; ex-Jess, Gilmore Girls) - 38
Eve Myles (ex-Gwen, Torchwood) - 37
Sophia Bush (ex-Brooke, One Tree Hill) -33
Allison Hirschlag (ex-Lizzie, Guiding Light) - 31
Jake McDorman (ex-Evan, Greek) - 29
Ashlyn Pearce (Aly, The Bold and the Beautiful) - 21

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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