‘Sesame Street’ celebrates its 43rd birthday

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Saturday marked the 43rd anniversary of Sesame Street‘s premiere on public broadcasting television stations. The program, which debuted on November 10, 1969, broke ground by being the first TV show of its kind to craft its content using laboratory and formative research.

Over four decades later, the show continues to be successful, in large part due to its evolution as children (and the world in which they grow up) have changed.

During the 2012 presidential race, Sesame Street acquired additional relevance after Republican candidate Mitt Romney declared his approval for Big Bird but promised to cut funding to public broadcasting. The remark made the show into something like a political symbol in the weeks leading up to the election.