In the mid 1970’s NBC’s Today was a hit show hosted by Jim Hartz and Barbara Walters. In an attempt to steal away some of the show’s viewers, ABC created AM America which was hosted by Bill Beutel and Stephanie Edwards along with Peter Jennings and Robert Kennedy reading the morning news. After months of trying, the show didn’t make a dent in Today’s ratings, but ABC learned that one of its affiliates had actually pre-empted AM America for a local show called The Morning Exchange. That show had a more relaxed approach to the news, offered weather updates at the top and bottom of each hour and shared stories of general interest and entertainment topics in addition to the morning’s headlines. The show was revamped and debuted as Good Morning America on this day in 1975. The new show was hosted by David Hartman and Nancy Dussault (who later starred on the sitcom Too Close for Comfort with Ted Knight). Dussault was replaced in 1977 by Sandy Hill who was replaced in 1980 by Joan Lunden.
Newspaper Mistakenly Declares Dewey President
Talk about mistakes. On this day in 1948, the Chicago Tribune made the huge mistake of declaring New York Governor Thomas Dewey the winner of his presidential race against Harry S. Truman. The front-page headline: "Dewey Defeats Truman.” Many newspapers were making early predictions of the win, so Truman went on a 22,000-mile railroad and automobile campaign tour. It is believed that Truman won due to his persistent direct interaction with the public. In the end, he won by 114 votes. This photo shows the beaming winner holding a copy of the newspaper with the false headline.