A report released on this date titled Public Television: A Program for Action laid the groundwork for federally-funded, socially responsible TV programming. The report was the work of the Carnegie Commission on Educational Television, which had been in 1965 by the Carenegie Corporation of New York to study the role of noncommercial television in American society. Among their recommendations was the creation of a Corporation for Public Broadcasting, with government support at national and subnational levels, devoted to offering civic-minded programming and to keeping abreast of TV’s educational and technological impact. President Lyndon Johnson acted on the recommendations with haste, offering legislation that by November led to the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, which created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. -A.D.
Also on January 26
1979: Speaking of educational television, on this date began the adventures of The Dukes of Hazzard, inspired by the 1975 film Moonrunners. Cousins Bo and Luke Duke (John Schneider, Tom Wopat) saddled up their trusty Dodge Charger (the General Lee) and flummoxed the corrupt and inept lawmen of Hazzard County, GA, including Jefferson Davis “Boss” Hogg, for seven seasons on CBS.
Today’s Birthdays: Ellen DeGeneres, daytime emcee (55); Paul Johansson, one tree villain (49); Charles Lane, character actor (d. 2007); Sara Rue, popular girl (34); Gene Siskel, film critic (d. 1999); David Strathairn, alpha doc (64); Bob Uecker, sportscaster (78).