Today in Soap Opera History (September 21)

1979: Dallas' Sue Ellen neglected baby John Ross Ewing III
1979: Dan Stewart was mourned on As the World Turns.
1981: General Hospital's Luke Spencer saved the world!
2011: All My Children's Martin family reflected on the past.
"History is a vast early warning system."
― Norman Cousins

"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...

1939: Radio station WJSV in Washington, D.C. recorded their entire broadcast day. From 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. the following day a "time capsule" was created for posterity. Of important note is Franklin D. Roosevelt's speech to Congress encouraging repeal of the U.S. Neutrality Law. Below are recaps for the daytime soap operas that aired on WJSV that day. All totaled, 18 daytime dramas were heard during the course of this broadcast day. The high number of soaps presented on the schedule underscored what an important, dominate genre this was on radio at the time and what a sought-after audience women must have been.

8:45 a.m. Bachelor's Children - Sam explained to his wife, Janet, how bills were brought before the legislature.

9:00 a.m. Pretty Kitty Kelly - Michael and Martin worked to proved Kitty was innocent of Madmoiselle Dupin's murder.

9:15 a.m. Myrt and Marge - Myrt and Marge worked on the new Myr-Mar Theater project at the 49th Street theater in New York.



9:30 a.m. Hilltop House - Bess noticed how restless John was as a result of Gwen's visit.



9:45 a.m. Kay Fairchild—Stepmother - Kay arrived at the Fairchild house for a talk with her father. Peg rejected the advice of Kay and John about Agatha Clark.

10:15 a.m. Brenda Curtis - Brenda's husband, Jim, was fearful of losing his biggest case and was annoyed with Brenda's receiving an offer to return to the stage.

10:30 a.m. Big Sister - Ruth and her fiance, Dr. John Wayne, planpned a day in the country, when a young friend collapsed while talking with them. Ruth visited a seamstress who was his close family friend, who offered to make her wedding dress.

10:45 a.m. Aunt Jenny's True Life Stories - The return of an old flame may threaten the marriage of Molly Allen.

11:15 a.m. When a Girl Marries - Joan and Harry discussed their plans for marriage, and Harry was troubled by a client's possible change of lawyers.

11:30 a.m. The Romance of Helen Trent - Helen had set up a dress shop in partnership with Chris Wilson, and she was faced with the dilemma of whether or not to hire a spoiled girl to help with design.

11:45 a.m. Our Gal Sunday - When Sunday's uncle complained he wished he was in London, she convinced him he was needed where he was.

12:00 p.m. The Goldbergs - Molly Goldberg became suspicious of the new chauffeur, George Stark, who was delivering a mysterious baby somewhere, and had nervous mannerisms. Jake disregarded Molly's concern.



12:15 p.m. Life Can Be Beautiful - Steven Hamilton was depressed about his having been crippled and unable to work in Henderson's law office. Kate Henderson visited, and convinced both Chichi and Steve that he was still useful to the firm.

12:30 p.m. Road of Life - The opening of the trial, The State of Illinois vs John McEwen

12:45 p.m. This Day is Ours - Eleanor had reservations about her coming marriage with Curt which were aggravated by their friends' (the Simpsons) marital problems.

1:15 p.m. The Life & Love of Dr. Susan - Susan and others awaited news of Butch Bixby's big game.

1:30 p.m. Your Family and Mine - Judy was by Woody's side when he woke up after surgery.

3:15 p.m. The Career of Alice Blair - Alice thought Myra was getting too close to Uncle Andy.

1967: On Days of our Lives, Mickey Horton (John Clarke) discovered that his niece Julie was carrying the child of her dead adulterous lover, David Martin.

Thanks to Scott for sending in the item above.

1976: On Another World, Pat Matthews (Beverly Penberthy) was disgusted when her husband, John (Michael M. Ryan), brought up saving her from a murder charge in the past.

1979: On Dallas, Sue Ellen Ewing (Linda Gray) returned to Southfork but neglected baby John Ross, much to the chagrin of the rest of the family. Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) took it upon himself to run interference for for his brother, J.R. (the Larry Hagman, who was born 84 years ago today), when Cliff Barns (Ken Kercheval) continued poking around the hospital.



1979: On As the World Turns, friends and family remembered Dan Stewart at his funeral service.



1981: On General Hospital, Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary) finally figured out the correct password to the weather machine saving Port Charles...and the world!



1984: On Another World, Marley Love (Ellen Wheeler) continued to secretly meet Ben McKinnon (Richard Steen) in the stables, in order to keep her "sister" Donna (Anna Stuart) from finding out about their relationship.



1988: On Santa Barbara, Cruz Castillo (A Martinez) cleaned the house and tried to make things better for Eden (Marcy Walker) following the rape.

1989: On All My Children, Nico Kelly (Maurice Benard) warned Tad Martin (Michael E. Knight) not to try to see Dixie Cooney at Laurel Hill. Elsewhere, Cliff Warner (Peter Bergman) told Angie Hubbard (Debbi Morgan) than he was going to marry his ex-wife, Nina (Taylor Miller).



2006: On Days of our Lives, Jack (Matthew Ashford) and Jennifer (Melissa Reeves) Deveraux left for England.

2011: On All My Children, the Martin family reflected on the past.



Celebrating a birthday today are:
Stephen King (Writer, Under the Dome; Haven) - 70
Bill Buell (ex-Judge Walker, Guiding Light) - 65
Gregory Mortensen (ex-Paul, Days of our Lives; ex-Dale, The Young and the Restless) - 62
Rebecca Balding (ex-Carol, Soap) - 62
David James Elliott (ex-Ripp, GCB; ex-Terry, Melrose Place) - 57
Susan Batten (ex-Connor, As the World Turns; ex-Luna, One Life to Live) - 56
Rob Morrow (ex-Joel, Northern Exposure) - 55
Stan Cahill (ex-Bascombe,  One Life to Live) - 53
Jason MacDonald (ex-Young Larry/Principal Fletcher, One Life to Live; ex-Bailiff Evans/Chip, All My Children; ex-Minister, As the World Turns; ex-Harry, Guiding Light) - 51
Adam Lazarre-White (ex-Nathan, The Young and the Restless) - 48
Billy Porter (ex-Billy, Another World) - 48
Bradford Anderson (Spinelli, General Hospital) - 38
Scott Evans (ex-Oliver, One Life to Live; ex-Trey, Guiding Light) - 34
Maggie Grace (ex-Shannon, Lost) - 34

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to submit a soap history entry for this date or a future date, email editor@welovesoaps.com.

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