MPT to Air an Evening of Nostalgia to Mark 50th Anniversary

    Oct. 5, 1969: The Archies’ “Sugar Sugar” topped the charts. Across the pond, “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” debuted on the BBC.

    In sports, Johnny Unitas connected on 18 of 24 pass attempts to lead the Baltimore Colts to a 21-14 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. The Orioles edged the Minnesota Twins, 1-0, in 11 innings, to take a 2-0 lead in the American League Championship Series. Dave McNally pitched a complete game for the O’s.

    Also on Oct. 5, Maryland Public Television, the only statewide TV network in Maryland, debuted.

    Launched as the Maryland Center for Public Broadcasting, MPT runs the usual array of cultural, educational news and entertainment programming as its public broadcasting brethren across the country — some homegrown, some produced nationally.

    MPT plans to air a nostalgic set of programming on Saturday evening – its 50th anniversary – to commemorate some of the highlights from its first half century.

    At 5:30 p.m., MPT will air the premiere episode of “Motorweek,” from 1981. At 6 p.m., it will air a 1994 episode of “Gone But Not Forgotten,” a look back at old Maryland. At 7 p.m., “Citizen Schaefer,” a 2009 documentary about former Gov. William Donald Schaefer (D) will air.

    That will be followed, at 8 p.m., by a new two-hour documentary made for the anniversary, Made Possible By Viewers Like You: 50 Years of Maryland Public Television.” At 11 p.m., a 1984 episode of “Crabs,” a sketch comedy show that ran on MPT for seven years, will air. And at 11:30 p.m., the 2013 debut of “Maryland Farm & Harvest” will be shown.

    In conjunction with the 50th anniversary, an exhibit about MPT has opened at the University of Maryland’s Hornbake Library in College Park.

    On display are microphones, studio lighting fixtures, and broadcasting equipment. It also includes logos from promotions and pledge shows through the years plus awards and statuettes MPT has received, including some Emmys. A full episode of the program “Nightmare’s Child,” which aired on Oct. 5, 1969, is also available for viewing.

    The exhibit runs through next July. To see a preview, click here.