This Was Television On July 23

1996: High-definition TV is first broadcast in the U.S.

The first digital signal on American airwaves was transmitted by WRAL-TV in Raleigh-Durham, which a few days prior became the first station in the country granted an experimental HDTV license by the Federal Communications Commission. 

HDTV’s unprecedented clarity has revolutionized the viewing experience, bringing into sharp relief every blade of grass on a baseball diamond, every tranquil ripple in an ocean life documentary, and every boiling polyp of rage pockmarking Bill O’Reilly’s hell-forged visage. -A.D.

Today’s Birthdays: Charisma Carpenter, visionary (42); Bert Convy, game show host and character actor (d. 1991); Woody Harrelson, eponymous barkeep (51); Eriq La Salle, smoldering surgeon (50); Edie McClurg, nosy neighbor (61); Marlon Wayans, Wayans brother (40); Paul Wesley, Salvatore brother (30).

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