Today in History: June 27

Dark Shadows, a daytime soap opera that seemed at first glance to resemble every other daytime soap opera on American television—except its characters featured a vampire, Barnabas Collins, and witches and werewolves and ghosts—debuted on ABC television 50 years ago today.

The character Barnabas was introduced in 1967. Jonathan Frid, who played Barnabas, spent the rest of his long life (he died in 2012 at the age of 87) in what appeared to be complete joy at getting to play such a … full-blooded? … character. Here is the clip introducing Barnabas (after the jump). The theremin music soundtrack was how one knew something spooky was afoot:

* * * *
On this date in 1844, a mob in Carthage, Illinois, broke into a jail holding Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon movement, and his brother Hyrum, and killed them both. One of the leaders of the mob? A man named Mark Aldrich. Aldrich and four others were later acquitted of murder or conspiracy by a non-Mormon jury.

* * * *
Albert R. Broccoli died 20 years ago today. Jack Lemmon died 15 years ago today.

* * * *
Helen Keller was born on this date in 1880.

* * * *
Ross Perot is 86 today. Bruce Johnston is 74 today. Julia Duffy is 65 today. J.J. Abrams is 50. Tobey Maguire is 41 today.

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  1. lifelessons · June 27, 2016

    My mother and I loved this show. One of the first soap operas I ever saw.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sandmanjazz · June 27, 2016

    Did you know that a British radio production company called Big Finish have done a series of Dark Shadows audio plays?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. loisajay · June 27, 2016

    Dark Shadows—I loved that show!


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