May 9th in history:
A new show on a Washington TV station made its debut on May 9th, 1955. It was a puppet show – called “Sam and Friends”, featuring comedy sketches by Jim Henson – which evolved into the Muppets.
The televised impeachment hearings against President Nixon by the House Judiciary Committee began in Washington on May 9th, 1974. The committee approved three articles of impeachment in late July. Nixon resigned less than two weeks after the committee votes.
A speech made in Washington, D.C. on the subject of television made headlines on May 9th, 1961. New FCC Commissioner Newton Minow told the National Association of Broadcasters that the majority of TV programming was a “vast wasteland.” Minow said the purpose of the speech was to urge broadcasters to air more programs in the public interest.
And May 9th is the birthday of several people who have won multiple awards for working on TV news shows…real and fictional:
Original “60 Minutes” anchor Mike Wallace, born on this date in 1918, won 21 news Emmys in his career.
Candice Bergen (born 1946) won five Emmy awards for playing fictional TV journalist “Murphy Brown.”
James L. Brooks (1940) directed the movie “Broadcast News,” and was co-creator of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” set in a TV newsroom in Minneapolis, which received 29 Emmys in seven seasons. The “Mary Tyler Moore” theme song, “Love Is All Around,” was written and sung by Sonny Curtis, born on May 9th of 1937. Curtis performed with Buddy Holly’s band, the Crickets, and also wrote the song “I Fought the Law.”