Published on Sunday, 22 July 2012 16:58
The Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC) is planning a pair of salutes -- first, to a historic broadcasting event, and second, to a historic Chicago broadcasting icon -- both taking place this week.
The first communications satellite, Telstar 1, was launched on July 10, 1962. On July 23rd, 1962, the first broadcast communication images were transmitted between Europe and the United States for the first time ever. The satellite was a joint effort between NASA, AT&T, Bell Telephone Laboratories, the British General Post Office, and the French National Post, Telegraph & Telecom Office.
With tomorrow being the 50th Anniversary date of this important broadcasting event, the MBC will open its doors (the museum is normally closed on Mondays) and have an all-day salute to Telstar 1's first broadcasts. From 10:00am-5:00pm, the MBC will be showing non-stop screenings of July 1962 newscasts talking about this amazing feat, featuring CBS-TV's Walter Cronkite and NBC-TV's Huntley & Brinkley (who were part of the early Telstar broadcasts). There will also be talks by Newton Minnow, the the Chairman of the FCC during the Kennedy administration, as well as with local historians Wally Podrazik and John McDonough. The live portions of the day will be hosted and moderated by MBC founder Bruce DuMont.
This can all be seen -- Monday only -- for the regular MBC admission price of $12.
On Saturday, July 28th, the MBC will salute the legacy of Chicago's first female TV superstar, Mary Hartline. At Noon, Mary Hartline herself, now 82 years old, will be at the MBC to meet with her longtime fans.
Mary Hartline started her career on radio, appearing as a character on the ABC Radio show "Junior Junction." Three years later, Hartline moved to television joining "Super Circus," which was recorded at ABC Studios in Chicago. The show began as a local Chicago-only kids show, but went national just one year later. With her beautiful face, platinum blond hair, curvy young body, as well as wearing mini-skirts (over a decade before it was common to do so) and tight or low cut outfits, Hartline became one of television's first major stars, appealing to children and adults alike. She was television's first female sex symbol, both locally and nationally.
Hartline was with "Super Circus" from 1949-1955. She also had her own live afternoon show for a few months in 1951, called appropriately "The Mary Hartline Show." Not only was she one of television's first superstars, but she was one of the first to discover the power of merchandising and marketing herself. Hartline had numerous dolls, clothes, footwear, records, batons, and toys -- three dozen different products in all. She would also promote other products, such as Canada Dry soft drinks and Kellogg's cereals, earning her more money and fame.
Hartline left television soon after after "Super Circus," went through multiple husbands (all of whom were quite wealthy), and retired in Florida.
Fans can meet with Mary Hartline -- Saturday at Noon only -- for the regular MBC admission price of $12.
The Museum of Broadcast Communications is located at 360 N. State Street in Chicago.