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Friday, July 12, 2013

Remembering the "Ford 50th Anniversary Show", Sixty Years Later

On Program 113, we recall the Ford 50th Anniversary Show, a two-hour live television special broadcast on June 15, 1953.  The program was seen on NBC and CBS at the same time.  This was the only way Ford could assure the maximum number of people would be able to see the show, since this was still the early days of television, and each network by itself did not cover the whole United States.  The program was hosted By Edward R. Murrow and Oscar Hammerstein, and featured a history of the U.S. and the world from 1903-1953.  Appearing on the show were Mary Martin and Ethel Merman, as seen above, along with Wally Cox, Lowell Thomas, Marian Anderson, Rudy Vallee, Burr Tilstrom's Puppets Kukla and Ollie, and appearing on film, Bing Crosby, Eddie Fisher, and Frank Sinatra.  The program was produced by Leland Hayward, and featured an appearance by Henry Ford II at the conclusion.  A well-remembered special from the early days of television!