This Day in Pop Culture for September 1

The Lone Ranger is Unmasked
In 1949, actor Clayton Moore began to star in The Lone Ranger, the first western TV series, for ABC and the network’s first big hit. Though the show aired for five seasons, Moore didn’t appear as the masked man during the series’ third year and was replaced by John Hart. Even so, Moore was often quoted as saying he had "fallen in love with the Lone Ranger character" and continued to make public appearances as the masked man for many years after. However, it was on this day in 1979 that an L.A. court prohibited Moore from wearing the iconic mask in public appearances. Jack Wrather, owner of the Lone Ranger character, had made plans for a new movie version of the story and didn’t want fans to think that the actor, now 65 years of age, would be playing the role. In response, Moore dropped the Domino mask in favor for Foster Grant wraparound sunglasses and counter-sued Wrather. He won that battle and was given the right to wear the costume, which he continued to do so until his death in 1999. Incidentally, the movie, The Legend of the Lone Ranger, was released in 1981 and Disney's The Lone Ranger starring Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp, released in 2013, were both critical and commercial failures.

First Spire Christian Comic Books
The very first Christian comic books were released in September of 1972. Spire produced a version of Brother Andrew’s God's Smuggler and David Wilkerson's The Cross and the Switchblade. Unlike traditional comic books which create new stories every month, the Christian versions came out about once a year. In 1973, Spire added an “Archie” series drawn by actual Archie Comics artist, Al Hartley and in 1974, the company added Bible stories and a series dedicated to younger readers including the “Barney Bear” series. The last of the original comic books was a “Barney Bear” printed in 1988.

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