'Days of Our Lives' news: Long-time soap contributes artifacts to National Museum of American History

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Long-time television soap drama series “Days of Our Lives” recently contributed artifacts to The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. With the show celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, having aired its first episode on NBC on Nov. 8, 1965, the pieces will be part of the national entertainment collection that showcases items from daytime TV programming. 

Chuck Dages, chairman of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, said through a press release posted on PR Newswire, “Everyone at NATAS is thrilled to continue our relationship with the Smithsonian and daytime television by bringing these iconic items and stars from ‘Days of Our Lives’ to the museum.” 

The show contributed original artwork and scripts, including one from a 1994 episode numbered 7435, complete with the director’s notes. There are also other memorabilia from the set, such as Christmas ornaments that the Horton family had a tradition of hanging since 1966. Executive producer Ken Corday also reportedly pledged to donate the hourglass that is shown at the opening of each episode.

The daytime soap, known for its line, “Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives…” is the longest-running drama series on NBC, and has earned 43 Emmy Awards, among other accolades.

“Since its advent in the 1940s, television has become integral to American culture,” John Gray, director of the museum, said. “By adding the contributions of daytime television to our collections, we are recognizing television’s influence on everyday life and capacity to explore national values such as democracy, opportunity and innovation.”

The National Museum of American History has an interesting collection of items from television over the past years, including the puffy shirt worn by Jerry Seinfeld in “Seinfeld,” the “M*A*S*H*” signpost made sometime between 1970 to 1972, and the marionettes made in 1949 as seen in the old “The Howdy Doody Show.” In collaboration with NATAS, the museum aims to tell the story of daytime television through these memorable pieces.