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MPT's 50th Anniversary

Fifty years of service – made possible by viewers like you!

Thanks for visiting our 50th anniversary web pages and joining the celebration of MPT’s five decades of service to Maryland and its citizens.

We invite you to stroll with us down Memory Lane and revisit your favorite productions and activities. But we also ask you to consider ways in which MPT can better serve you in the years ahead.

It’s our 50th anniversary year. Thank you for making it possible!

MPT 50th Anniversary Flashbacks

Year-long exhibit

University of Maryland Hornbake Library gallery hosts “Made Possible By Viewers Like You: Maryland Public Television Turns 50” display through July 2020

Shining Emmy® statuettes, a decades-old TV field camera, aging black-and-white photos, and up-to-the-minute video clips. These and more are features of a year-long exhibit titled "Made Possible By Viewers Like You: Maryland Public Television Turns 50," which opens in late August in the University of Maryland’s Hornbake Library Maryland Room Gallery.

Open to the public free of charge, the exhibit has its debut on August 26 and remains in the gallery through July 31, 2020. Hornbake Library hours during the university’s fall and spring semesters are Monday-Friday, 10 am until 5 pm, with extended hours until 8 pm on Wednesdays. The gallery is also open on Sundays from 1 pm until 6 pm.

Year-long exhibit

The exhibit, assembled by archivists from the university’s Special Collections & University Archives team in collaboration with MPT, traces the five-decade history of the Maryland Center for Public Broadcasting – later Maryland Public Television – and its service to the citizens of the Free State and beyond.

Among artifacts on display are microphones, lighting fixtures, and broadcasting equipment – old and new – including an original field camera and a current-day GoPro device. Also in the exhibit are logo-bearing premiums from promotions and pledge shows through the years plus awards and statuettes – Emmys, Webbys, and Tellys among them. The archivists have included a copy of Nightmare’s Child, the first program to air on the Maryland Center for Public Broadcasting when the network debuted at 6:30 pm on October 5, 1969, and decades-old newspaper articles about the newly arrived public TV phenomena in Maryland.

All exhibit items are accompanied by explanatory copy that tells the story of the early “pioneers” on the network’s Owings Mills (MD) campus whose creative exploits – for decades without computer assistance -- yielded hundreds of remarkable productions.

The exhibit creators have tackled the story-telling assignment by presenting material by genres—from news/public affairs or children’s programming to arts/culture or natural history. For older viewers who recall viewing Hodgepodge Lodge as children or financial news devotees who relished time spent with Wall $treet Week on Friday evenings, the exhibit features video clips of MPT’s most popular programs over the decades.

The display includes information on how MPT’s video archives are being preserved for researchers and others in the coming years. For more information, including directions and parking instructions, visit https://www.lib.umd.edu/special/about/visit-us and https://www.lib.umd.edu/mpt-turns-50.

History book

Book coverMade Possible By Viewers Like You, The History of Maryland Public Television, 1969-2019 is an 84-page publication that traces the evolution of this network from the 1966 legislation that created public TV in Maryland to the present day.

More than 350 photographs help capture the early Maryland Center for Public Broadcasting “pioneers” at work and illustrate the activities of their successors at Maryland Public Television.

Purchase your copy by clicking HERE.

TV documentary

Made Possible By Viewers Like You: 50 Years of Maryland Public Television
Aired Monday, August 19, 2019 at 8pm

A City Celebrates: Opening of HarborplaceA City Celebrates: Opening of Harborplace Viewers chuckled at the Emmy-winning comedy show Crabs, glowed with pride during A City Celebrates: Opening of Harborplace, were saddened by Understanding Joy: The Devastation of a Gambling Addiction, and sat happily with their children to watch Bob the Vid Tech’s Big City Adventure.

Historic documentary, music, sports, art and culture – no matter the subject area, MPT tackled tough stories and uplifting programs alike, delivering high-quality productions that earned viewer acclaim – and no small number of Emmys and other awards.

Now, a new, 120-minute production Made Possible By Viewers Like You: 50 Years of Maryland Public Television captures five decades of televised education and entertainment. Ask about how to order your personal DVD by e-mailing mptpresident@mpt.org.

Traveling exhibit

Exhibit banner Next stop: your town. The MPT 50th anniversary traveling exhibit is making its way around Maryland to give citizens a close-up look at the history, personalities, and images that were part of five decades of service to the state.

» Schedule of exhibit venues and times

Events

MPT’s 50th anniversary year is chock-full of events open to the public.

Whether you visit us for a Friday Freeview screening, stop by our booth at local fairs, or register for one of our enjoyable fundraisers, we look forward to welcoming you to your public TV station during our anniversary celebration.

» Check out our public events

Past productions

Miss Jean from Hodgepodge LodgeMiss Jean from Hodgepodge Lodge Nearly 800 separate productions and series were made at MPT beginning in 1969 and continuing uninterrupted for five decades.

Now, for the first time, the titles and broadcast years of these programs have been compiled.

» Check here for the complete list.

In some cases, it’s possible to purchase a DVD of a current or past program. Ask for information by e-mailing mptpresident@mpt.org.

Photo gallery

Photo gallery A picture, they say, is worth a thousand words. Take a look at our special » online photo gallery created specially for the 50th anniversary.

If you have MPT photographs to donate to our photo archives, we gladly welcome your contribution.

Send to: Photo Archives, Office of the President, Maryland Public Television, 11767 Owings Mills Blvd., Owings Mills, MD 21117-1499.

Questions?

Have an anniversary-related question? Send an email to: mptpresident@mpt.org and we’ll be happy to help.

Congratulatory wishes from some of our special supporters

Vintage studio console Vintage camera woman Vintage engineers and wires