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Queens Chronicle

Color TV history

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Posted: Thursday, June 19, 2014 10:30 am

Dear Editor:

I was reading your ninth article about the 1964 New York World’s Fair and was shocked to read the claim that color television was introduced there.

No way! Color TV had been around since 1953, when the FCC gave the OK for color TV standards. Eisenhower was the first president to be broadcast in color, in June 1955. The 1955 World Series (Dodgers vs. Yankees) was broadcast in color. TV Guide used to have a section listing all the color programs schedules for the week in the late 1950s. My grandmother had an RCA color TV in 1958. Walt Disney’s “Wonderful World of Color” began broadcasting in September 1961. It is estimated that there were 1,600,000 color TV sets in US households by 1964, representing 3.1 percent of the population.

There were still a lot of TV shows broadcasting in black and white in the early 1960s, but to say that color TV was introduced in 1964 is incorrect.

Regular black-and-white TV was introduced at the 1939 NY World’s Fair. President Roosevelt was at the fair and his speech was broadcast live by TV cameras to the perhaps 50 sets in all of New York City capable of receiving the broadcast.

Larry Miller
Middle Village
Editor’s note: We meant that color TV was introduced at the fair to the general public, the 96.9 percent who lacked it in 1964. Also, see any articles in the series that you missed by clicking the World’s Fair tab at qchron.com.

Welcome to the discussion.