Salute to KCET

In January of 1965, twelve hundred interested community members gathered to celebrate the launch of "a major new force in the cultural and education life in our state." A letter from the office of Governor Edmund G. Brown, read before the audience, stated that KCET (Channel 28) was to be a resource for the state to "help people better understand a world in which science and technology are changing at a rate unequaled in history."

Dr. Lee A. DuBridge, educator, physicist and Chairmen of the Board of Community Television of Southern California, presented the inaugural launch of the educational broadcast television station, an integral part of the Greater Los Angeles Community.

Wholly devoted to cultural and educational television, KCET Channel 28 had already proved in it's first four months on-air to be "quite new, quite different, and quite worthwhile." Some of Hollywood's brightest stars contributed their talents to the evening as a salute to Channel 28. Here are some selected moments from the video:

Story continues below

20:30 Dick Van Dyke comes on stage to introduce the performers

23:40 Jackie Joseph and Ken Berry perform a song

29:00 Jose Jimenez interviewed as "the man on the street" with Dick Van Dyke

34:40 Gospel-folk singers Joe and Eddie perform "There's a Meeting Here Tonight"

37:50 Carl Reiner takes the stage accompanied by a familiar looking waiter who seems to be confused about his whereabouts

46:00 A troupe of UCLA actors, in the form of two young ladies (Betty Harford and Nina Fosch), regale the audience with a scene from Shakespeare's Henry V

55:17 Irving Stone (writer, Lust For Life) takes the stage to speak about idealism

The evening ends with Dick Van Dyke reminding the audience that while the show is ending, it is only the beginning. Fifty years later, KCET continues to devote itself to the development of the cultural life of Los Angeles and all of California.

We are dedicated to providing you with articles like this one. Show your support with a tax-deductible contribution to KCET. After all, public media is meant for the public. It belongs to all of us.

Keep Reading