May 9, 1955. A puppet television show named Sam and Friends, created by Jim Henson and his partner (and later wife) Jane gets its first airing on local Washington DC channel WRC-TV. Originally in black and white and then later in colour, 86 episodes are broadcast until 1961. One of a handful of characters is a lizard-like puppet called Kermit. He was made out of an old turquoise coat with ping pong balls for his eyes. Although Kermit disappeared from the public eye for several years, he resurfaced as a frog for the opening season of Sesame Street in 1969. He later went on to become the star of the Muppet Show in 1976 and many Muppet films thereafter.
Also on May 9: Thomas Blood attempts to steal the crown jewels from the Tower of London (1671); the first Australian parliament opens in Melbourne (1901); Rainier III becomes Prince of Monaco (1949) The Schuman Declaration sets out a plan for European integration, the first step towards the creation of the EU (1950).
Born on May 9: J.M. Barrie (1860), Roger Hargreaves (1935), Billy Joel (1949)