‘Goodness and humor’ celebrated as ‘Sesame Street’ turns 50

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This image released by HBO shows the cast of “Sesame Street” during a celebration of their 50th season of the popular children’s TV show. This first episode of “Sesame Street” aired in the fall of 1969. (Richard Termine/HBO via AP)
This image released by HBO shows the cast of “Sesame Street” during a celebration of their 50th season of the popular children’s TV show. This first episode of “Sesame Street” aired in the fall of 1969. (Richard Termine/HBO via AP)

New York (AP) — Fifty years ago marked the debut of a TV show that would make history.

The educational and yet silly “Sesame Street” was meant to help young children get ready for school, with diversity and inclusion baked into the show, set in a place where monsters, humans and animals lived peacefully together.

“Sesame Street” has proved to be a celebrity magnet and a cherished show for generations. There’s also evidence that “Sesame Street” really does help children learn.

“Sesame Street” has opened its arms over the years. It became the first children’s program to feature someone with Down syndrome. It’s had puppets with HIV and in foster care, invited children in wheelchairs and dealt with topics like jailed parents, homelessness, women’s rights and military families. It’s even had girls singing about loving their hair.