Sesame Street Day Date in the current year: November 10, 2024

Sesame Street Day Sesame Street Day is observed on November 10 every year. It celebrates a long-running American educational children’s television show that premiered on this day in 1969.

Sesame Street combines live action, sketch comedy, puppetry, and animation. It was created by television writer and producer Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett, a psychologist and executive at Carnegie Corporation. They came up with the idea 1996 at Cooney’s dinner party while discussing the possibilities of using television to educate young children. Morrisett’s position at the Carnegie Corporation helped secure funding for the initial development of the project, and Cooney took a leave of absence from the network to work on it.

Cooney submitted her proposal to the Carnegie Corporation in 1968 and was awarded a $1 million grant for the establishment of the Children’s Television Workshop (CTW). Morrisett procured additional grants, and the CTW spent eighteen months working on the new show. Test episodes were shown to preschoolers in New York City and Philadelphia in July 1969.

The first season of Sesame Street premiered on PBS on November 10, 1969. It was well received by children and parents alike, and was widely praised for its originality. The show faced some criticism as well, but for the most part it was a success. Part of its appeal were the Muppets, a group funny puppet characters created by Jim Henson: Grover, Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie, Oscar the Grouch, and Big Bird.

Sesame Street is one of the longest-running television series in the world and the longest-running children’s television show. It was still aired as of November 2023, with more than 4600 episodes. According to a survey conducted in 1996, 95% of American children had watched the show by the age of three.

Sesame Street was initially meant to be a fun and educational children’s program, but it has evolved into a bona fide cultural phenomenon in the more than 50 year since it first aired. The show hasn’t shied away from tackling serious issues (death and grief, racism and discrimination, gender roles, divorce, autism, homelessness, foster care, adoption, the COVID-19 pandemic) in a child-appropriate manner. Although not without controversies, Sesame Street has had a tremendous positive influence on several generations of children.

The inaugural Sesame Street Day was celebrated in 2009, when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg proclaimed November 10, 2009 Sesame Street Day to commemorate the show’s 40th anniversary. In honor of the holiday, the corner of 64th Street and Broadway was temporarily renamed 123 Sesame Street – with a dedication ceremony and all.

There are many ways to celebrate Sesame Street Day. You can rewatch your favorite Sesame Street episodes, watch Sesame Street movies (there are two, Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird and The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland), listen to songs from the show, get some Sesame Street merch for yourself and your friends, throw a Sesame Street-themed party, cosplay as your favorite character from the show, and post about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #SesameStreetDay.

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