This Was Television On December 22

1931: TV broadcasting begins at the Empire State Building

The jewel of the New York City skyline was outfitted to transmit broadcast signals since its earliest days, and its first television signal came less than eight months after the building officially opened. On this date in 1931, NBC sent its first experimental TV signal from the top of what was then the tallest edifice in the world. By the 1940s, the network was regularly transmitting many of its programs via the Empire State Building’s antenna. -A.D.

Today’s Birthdays: Barbara Billingsley, Cleaver mom (d. 2010); Hector Elizondo, doctor (76); Flip Mark, child actor (64); Gene Rayburn, panelist-wrangler (d. 1999).

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