Established in 1953, Alabama Public Television was the first educational television network in the United States. With much of the state struggling to support standalone educational systems, Gov. Gordon Persons encouraged the State Legislature to establish APT to ensure access to educational television for all Alabamians. Among the early children’s programs broadcast in the 1950s was Cabbages and Kings, written and produced by Auburn University. APT soon added programs for elementary schools, teacher instruction and adult educational programs that were scheduled in the evening hours along with national programming. Since then, 25 other states have established public television networks, all based on Alabama’s model. Alabama Public Television’s Educational mission and national leadership continue today.
Photos courtesy of: Alabama Department of Archives and History