Today in Soap Opera History (August 14)

As word spread about the end of World War II, listeners were
glued to the radio for updates.
"History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again."
― Maya Angelou

"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...

1945: President Harry S. Truman announced that Japan had surrendered to the Allies (World War II). Thousands thronged into the streets throughout the United States to celebrate V-J Day. The official ratification of the surrender didn’t take place until September 2, in Tokyo Bay aboard the USS Missouri.

1945: On Pepper Young's Family, Harry, Betty, Pepper (Mason Adams) and Mrs. Green discussed Harry and Betty's upcoming marriage. Since the kids didn't want to wait, they went off once they received Pepper and Mrs. Green's permission.

1945: On Ma Perkins, Mathilda Pendleton (Beverly Younger) dropped by Ma's (Virginia Payne) and wanted to know all about Jeff and Stella Carlon (Marilou Neumayer). Gary Curtis (Rye Pillsbury) confronted Stella, wanting to know what had been troubling her recently.

1945: On The Right to Happiness, Ed (Jerry Macy) wanted an explanation about why some of Emily's (Alice Yourman) dresses were missing.

1945: On Barry Cameron, ;Barry (Spencer Bentley) greeted his wife, Anna (Florence Williams), at the airport, and they rushed to the hospital to see Warren Johnson, who had been recovering from a serious car accident.

1945: On Woman in White, Dr. Jonathan McNeil was visited by a student nurse who revealed that she was secretly married, and pregnant.

1945: On The Guiding Light, after being censured for wrongdoing, Peter Manno (Jay Novello) decided not to run for office and handed in his resignation as assistant state attorney.

Announcer: "While all the world waits for news from Japan, life still goes on, as it does today for Pete Manno."

1967: On Dark Shadows, Barnabas (Jonathan Frid) and Julia (Grayson Hall) argued over what to do about Maggie Evans (Kathryn Leigh Scott). Barnabas decided she must die.

1975: On Another World, Mac (Douglass Watson) threw Iris (Beverlee McKinsey) out of the house.

1984: On Santa Barbara, Cruz (A Martinez) collapsed after kissing Santana's (Ava Lazar) hand. Meanwhile, Jade (Melissa Reeves), Danny (Rupert Ravens) and Ted (Todd McKee) met Helen aka movie star Peaches DeLight (Virginia Mayo). Note: You can hear Michael Jackson's "Thriller" during the Jade/Danny/Ted scenes, an example of why it would be very difficult to ever re-air Santa Barbara without a huge music rights cost.

1986: Kristen Marie debuted as Cheryl McKinnon in Another World.

1986: On The Young and the Restless, Andy Richards and Farren Connor (Colleen Casey) were married in an impromptu ceremony at Paul's apartment. Unaware of the wedding, Lauren plotted with Diane to reveal Farren's identity in the newspaper. Diane was waiting in Andy's bed when he arrived home with his new wife.

1989: On All My Children, Marissa (Nancy Addison) held Natalie (Kate Collins) at gunpoint. Jeremy (Jeremy LeClerc) attempted to get the gun away from Marissa but accidentally shot her instead.

1989: On As the World Turns, a returned James Stenbeck (Anthony Herrera) threatened Sierra's life in order to get Lucinda Walsh (Elizabeth Hubbard) to cooperate with him. Lucinda demanded proof that Sierra was alive.

Thanks to Jennifer for sending in the clip above.

2003: On The Bold and the Beautiful, after Sally (Darlene Conley) and Clarke gave Macy, Deacon, and Little Eric a proper send-off, Sally proclaimed this was the Spectras moment of triumph over the Forresters.

2004: On Days of our Lives, Will (Christopher Gerse) asked Sami (Alison Sweeney) and Lucas (Bryan Dattilo) when they were going to get married.

2006: On General Hospital, Jason (Steve Burton) and Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) made love.

2009: On One Life to Live, Layla (Tika Sumpter) told Cristian (David Fumero) to stay out of her relationship with Fish (Scott Evans). Amanda Setton debuted as Kimberly Andrews in the episode.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Fran Bennett (ex-Flora, General Hospital; ex-Mrs. Matson, Guiding Light) - 78
Cathi Peyton Erman (ex-Nurse Christine, Days of our Lives) - 64
Jackée Harry (ex-Lily, Another World) - 59
Susan Olsen (ex-Liza, The Young and the Restless; ex-Cindy, The Bradys) - 54
David Aaron Baker (Mr. Kozinski, One Life to Live) - 52
Halle Berry (ex-Debbie, Knots Landing) - 49
Catherine Bell (ex-Denise, Army Wives) - 47
Rhonda Ross Kendrick (ex-Toni, Another World) - 44
Christopher Gorham (ex-Henry, Ugly Betty) - 41
Jill Bennett (ex-Michelle, Dante's Cove) - 40
Shawn Batten (ex-Sarah, Sunset Beach; ex-Natalia, Spyder Games) - 40
Mila Kunis (ex-Ashley, 7th Heaven) - 32
Cassi Thomson (ex-Nikki, Switched at Birth) - 22
Garrett Ryan (ex-Kyle, The Young and the Restless) - 16

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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