A landmark in satellite technology, Telstar was the first communications satellite to transmit TV signals through space, including the first live transatlantic broadcast. It was developed through a collaboration including AT&T, Bell Labs, and arms of the American, British, and French governments. It was launched by NASA from Cape Canaveral into elliptical orbit where, according to the U.S. Space Objects Registry, it remains to this day.
The Telstar series went through several subsequent iterations. Probably the least successful came in 1979, when then-CBS president Hugo Drax hijacked and weaponized the program in an attempt to eliminate all other networks. -A.D.
Today’s Birthdays: Gina Bellman, coupled (46); David Brinkley, newsman (d. 2003); Ron Glass, Bookish (67); Adrian Grenier, James Cameron’s Aquaman (36); Fred Gwynne, Munster of the house (d. 1993); Earl Hamner, CBS writer and producer (79); Gale Harold, queer folk (43); Don Herbert, Mr. Wizard (d. 2007); Peter Serafinowicz, Britcom ringer (40); Phyllis Smith, Scrantonian (61); Sofia Vergara, modernly familial (40).