For the next hour, think of your television set as a time machine
"For the next hour, think of your television set as a time machine." That was lead-off line on most episodes. I really enjoyed this history program. It was always an interesting look back. For someone who had gone through school in the 1970s, much of the history from the 1950s and later was not taught in our schools yet. It was on this show that I learned of Little Rock (1957), the Rosenbergs(1954), Francis Gary Powers and the infamous "U2 incident"(1960), the March on Washington (1963), Brown verses the Board of Education (1954), the great GM strike (1936/37), Jonas Salk, the McCarthy era, the "War of the Worlds" broadcast (1938), Gold Star mothers, the Tet Offensive, Levittown, Detroit race riots, Kent State and countless other events that have now become well known. When Billy Joel's song "We didn't start the fire" came out in 1989, I knew just about every event mentioned in that song, mainly because I had watched this show. The show would take a period in time and review the events/news of that period, for example, "Fall 1973" they reviewed the Tennis match between Billy Jean King and Bobby Riggs, the Yom Kippur war, the Saturday Night Massacre etc. all of which occurred during that period. The time periods featured ranged from 1936 - 1975 and it was amazing what they could pack into an hour. As the closing credits rolled, the hosts (Ray Gandolf and Linda Ellerbee) would rattle off the more obscure events that happened during that period and often tied them to modern day figures ("Also in 1952, Ronald Reagan married Nancy Davis..." etc). I wish there was a show like this on today. Unfortunately, ABC put this show on opposite The Cosby Show which was the most popular TV show on the air at the time so Our World had a hard time finding an audience. I watched, and taped Our World every week. I still enjoy watching the episodes and often watch them with my children when discussing their history lessons. It is sad that the term "Educational TV" has now become an oxi-moron. Shows such as this educated a lot of viewers. Thank you Linda and Ray! You did the job my history teachers did not do. Linda Ellerbee is still a prominent figure in TV, however, Ray Gandolf seems to have disappeared. Both did a fine job on this show. It truly is a forgotten jewel of the 1980s. Our World itself could now be a topic for a modern show looking back on 1986/87 - I wonder how many would remember it?
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