1939 in television
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The year 1939 in television involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events during 1939.
- March 4 – The BBC Television Service broadcasts one of the first television plays specially written for the medium, Condemned To Be Shot by R. E. J. Brooke, live from its London studios at Alexandra Palace. The production is notable for the use of a camera as the first-person perspective of the play's unseen main character.
- March 27 – The BBC broadcasts the entirety of Magyar Melody live from His Majesty's Theatre in London. The 175-minute broadcast is the first showing of a full-length musical by television.
- Television demonstrations are held at the 1939 New York World's Fair on Long Island and the Golden Gate International Exhibition in San Francisco.
- RCA, General Electric, Dumont and others begin selling television sets to the public in the New York City area. Screen sizes typically range from 5 to 12 inches, and Dumont features 14-inch and 16-inch models. Prices start at $200 and go as high as $1000.
- April 30 – Franklin D. Roosevelt, appearing at the opening ceremony of the 1939 New York World's Fair, becomes the first President of the United States to give a speech that is broadcast by television.
- May 17 – The first baseball game (Princeton University vs. Columbia University) is broadcast by television, from Baker Field in New York. Bill Stern is the announcer.
- May 19 – The Walt Disney cartoon Donald's Cousin Gus airs on NBC's experimental station W2XBS (later WNBC-TV) in New York. This marks the first movie cartoon to be televised in the United States.
- June 1 – The first heavyweight boxing match is televised, Max Baer vs Lou Nova, from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
- August 26
- The first Major League Baseball game is telecast, a double-header between the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field, in Brooklyn, New York.
- Poland broadcasts a feature film for the first time—Barbara Radziwiłłówna (1936)—using the experimental transmitter mounted atop the Prudential building in Warsaw.
- August 31 – 18,999 television sets have been sold in England before manufacture stops due to World War II.
- September 1 – The anticipated outbreak of World War II brings television broadcasting at the BBC in Britain to an end at 12:35 p.m. after the broadcast of a Mickey Mouse cartoon, Mickey's Gala Premier, various sound and vision test signals, and announcements by presenter Fay Cavendish. It is feared that the VHF waves of television would act as a homing signal for guiding enemy bombers to central London: in any case, the engineers of the television service would be needed for the war effort, particularly for development of radar. The BBC would resume its broadcasting, with the same Mickey Mouse cartoon, after the war in 1946.
- September 30 – The first televised college football game, Fordham University vs Waynesburg College, at Randall's Island, New York.
- October 22 – The first National Football League game is televised. The Brooklyn Dodgers vs. Philadelphia Eagles at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn.
- November 8 – CBS television station W2XAB resumes test transmission with an all-electronic system broadcast from the top of the Chrysler Building in New York City.
|Picture Page (UK)||October 8, 1936||1939|
|Starlight (UK)||November 3, 1936||1939|
|The Disorderly Room (UK)||April 17, 1937||August 20, 1939|
|For The Children (UK)||April 24, 1937||1939|
|July 7, 1946||1950|
|Sports Review (UK)||April 30, 1937||1939|
|Telecrime (UK)||August 10, 1938||July 25, 1939|
|October 22, 1946||November 25, 1946|
Programs ending during 1939
|August 20||The Disorderly Room (UK)||1937|
|Unknown||Sports Review (UK)|
- January 17 – Maury Povich, talk show host
- January 22 – Jeff Smith, American chef and presenter (died 2004)
- February 6 – Mike Farrell, actor, M*A*S*H
- April 5 - Roger Davis, actor, Alias Smith and Jones
- April 9 - Michael Learned, actress, The Waltons
- April 11 – Louise Lasser, actress, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
- April 13 - Paul Sorvino, actor, Law & Order
- April 19 - Ellen Weston, actress, S.W.A.T.
- April 23
- April 27 – Judy Carne, actress, comedian, Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In (died 2015)
- May 1
- May 25 – Dixie Carter, actress, Designing Women (died 2010)
- June 1 – Cleavon Little, actor (died 1992)
- June 9 – Dick Vitale, sportscaster
- July 4 - Ed Bernard, actor, Police Woman, The White Shadow, Hardcastle and McCormick
- July 10 - Lawrence Pressman, actor, Doogie Howser, M.D.
- July 31 – Susan Flannery, actress, Days of Our Lives
- August 21 - Clarence Williams III, actor, The Mod Squad
- August 22 – Valerie Harper, actress, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda
- August 29 – Joel Schumacher, film director
- August 30 - William G. Schilling, actor, Head of the Class
- September 1 – Lily Tomlin, actress, comedian, Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
- September 18 - Fred Willard, actor, comedian
- September 29 – Larry Linville, actor, M*A*S*H (died 2000)
- October 30 - Danny Goldman, actor, The Smurfs
- October 31 - Ron Rifkin, actor, Alias, Brothers & Sisters
- November 11 - Denise Alexander, actress, General Hospital
- November 15 - Yaphet Kotto, actor, Homicide: Life on the Street
- November 20 - Dick Smothers, actor, comedian, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
- December 27 – John Amos, actor, Good Times
- "Early Television Stations – W2XAB/W2XAX/WCBW – CBS, New York". Early Television Museum. Hilliard, Ohio. Retrieved 2014-11-26.