It was Sept. 21, and the sun was shining on a bright and seasonably cool day in 1971 as a young, enthusiastic and incredibly naïve 21-year-old metallurgical engineering graduate from the University of Illinois walked toward his first full-time employer’s manufacturing plant in Chicago (a furnace manufacturer no less) full of hopes, dreams and aspirations. Curiously enough, as he crossed the parking lot toward the entrance, he remembers saying to himself, “Well, only 45 years to go!” Let’s learn more.
For those of you too young to remember, Howdy Doody was an American children’s television program (with circus and Western frontier themes) that was created and produced by E. Roger Muir and telecast on the NBC network in the U.S. from Dec. 27, 1947, until Sept. 24, 1960 (Fig. 1). It was a pioneer in children’s television programming and set the pattern for many similar shows. One of the first television series produced at NBC in Rockefeller Center, in Studio 3A, it was also a pioneer in early color production, as NBC (at the time owned by TV maker RCA) used the show in part to sell color television sets in the 1950s.