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Fascinating True Stories from the Flip Side of History

Tag Archives: 1960

Twilight Zone Chooses to Keep Rod Serling

One of my favorite television shows of all time is the Twilight Zone and would be very hard to imagine it without the on-screen presence of its creator, Rod Serling. Yet, few people realize that he did not appear on the show during its entire first season. Serling only did the narration.

At the end of the season, the show’s sponsors – General Foods and Kimberly-Clark – opted not to renew their contracts with the CBS network. Without a sponsor the show would have almost certainly been canceled.

According to a June 7, 1960 New York Times article, CBS concluded that the only way that they could convince sponsors to keep supporting the show would be for them to secure the talents of a big-name celebrity host. Their choice was actor Orson Welles. Luckily for those of us who are big fans of Rod Serling, Welles declined the offer.

It was speculated in the article that General Mills and new sponsor Colgate-Palmolive agreed to advertise on the show because of Welles’ supposed involvement, but that was never confirmed.

Instead, Rod Serling was informed that he would provide both the introduction and closing to the show.

Rod Serling Twilight Zone
It would be hard to imagine The Twilight Zone without its creator Rod Serling.

The Last Man on Earth

Did you ever wonder what would happen if you ended up being the last person alive on Earth? Back in 1960, the San Francisco Chronicle decided to send their hunting and fishing columnist Bud Boyd up into the Marble Mountains of California for six weeks to find out if one could really survive. Let’s just say that everything did not go as planned…

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Character Day Bank Holdup

Six students from the Santa Rosa Junior College in California found themselves in a bit of hot water on April 24th of 1960. The students, one female and five male, dressed up in roaring ‘20’s style clothes for the school’s annual “Character Day.”  The 19-year-old woman wore a classic flapper outfit, while the five guys, ranging in age from 18 to 21, went for the classic mobster look of long coats, hats, and sunglasses.  

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