Actress Charlotte Rae, better known by many as Edna Garret, passed away at the age of 92 on this day in 2018 after fighting numerous cancers and heart issues over many years. The actress was born as Charlotte Rae Lubostsky in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 22, 1926. Charlotte had her start in show business on the Broadway stage, but it best know for her work on TV. She appeared as Mrs. Bellotti for the series Hot L. Baltimore in 1975, appeared as a regular on The Rich Little Show in 1976 but it was her portrayal of Edna Garrett that most people remember her for. She began playing the role as a housekeeper for the show, Diff’rent Storkes in 1978. In 1979, Edna Garrett moved to serve at a boarding school for the spin-off series, The Facts of Life and even appeared three times for the short-lived sitcom, Hello Larry. Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life were huge successes (Strokes ran through 1984 and Facts ran through 1986) and the latter has had a few made-for-TV movies and there is even talks of recreating the show, but it would never be the same without Rae.
Though known by many as American Bandstand, the show actually began in 1950 on local TV station WFIL-TV Channel 6 in Philadelphia. Simply known as Bandstand, the show was hosted by Bob Horn and featured short musical films which some consider to be predecessors to the music video. Not understanding that he was ahead of his time, Horn wanted the show changed to show teenagers dancing to hit songs. This new format debuted in 1952. Four years later, Horn was fired after a drunk-driving arrest. This is when Dick Clark stepped in. The show went national with the name changed to American Bandstand on this day in 1957. The show initially appeared during the afternoon on weekdays before becoming a Saturday morning staple. It is reported that the only person to ever co-host the show with Clark was Donna Summer who appeared on May 27, 1978 to help promote the movie, Thank God It’s Friday. The show aired for the last time in 1987. In 2004, Clark announced that he and Ryan Seacrest were working on a revival of the show for the 2005 season, but due to his stroke in 2004, the new version never materialized.
In 1733, New York publisher John Peter Zenger printed a newspaper to spout off on his disagreement with policies of the newly appointed colonial governor William Cosby. Zenger was charged with seditious libel. After serving eight months in prison, Zenger had his day in court and on this day in 1733, he was found not guilty. Lawyers in the case presented the idea that even if information can be defamatory, it cannot be considered libelous if the story can be proved to be true.