Smithsonian Recalls 1st Live Global TV Broadcast 50 Years Ago

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Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum is celebrating the satellite that powered the first TV transmission around the globe 50 years ago.

In July 1962, the Telstar satellite carried live pictures to audiences in the U.S., Canada and Europe for the first time. The broadcast began with pictures of the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower.

Newsman Walter Cronkite called it the “rarest of all television moments.”

Organizers planned to show remarks by President John F. Kennedy, but the talk was delayed. Instead, they showed a baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs.

On Thursday, the Smithsonian is hosting a symposium on Telstar’s historical significance and impact on space endeavors. The symposium includes a TV connection to a French museum and footage of the original broadcast.

Globally televised broadcasts paved the way for seminal moments in television history just a few years later, such as the live worldwide television broadcast of the moon landing in July of 1969.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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