The First Sesame Street Intro (1969)


It was 50 years ago Sesame Street debuted on public television. Ever since it has been giving children both education and entertainment in a delightful program. The show was created by Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett. Jim Henson and his crew of puppeteers created memorable characters for Sesame Street.   Muppet characters such as Elmo, Big Bird, the Cookie Monster,  Oscar the grouch, Bert and Ernie  have become parts of American popular culture. The show also has international versions that are seen in numerous countries. The goals of the program were to make young children ready for public school and also provide a head start to children of low income families. The show also was bold at the time depicting a racially  integrated neighborhood. The state of Mississippi refused to air Sesame Street  for that reason. America was going through a long process of dismantling racial segregation and discrimination. A children’s television program could be an effective tool in teaching tolerance and civility.  The year 1969 was a revolution in educational entertainment. Children would be willing to learn and be enthusiastic if the subjects were presented in a fun way. Sesame Street  has been on the air for half a century and will certainly be one of the most successful children’s programs in TV history.

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