NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Monday, September 2nd. Happy Labor Day and thanks for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: the debut of what becomes America’s longest-running game show. Plus, the anniversary of 11 lost days.
EICHER: But first, an American hero of Religious Freedom is punished for his theological views. Here’s Paul Butler.
PAUL BUTLER, REPORTER: In the 17th century, Massachusetts Puritans passed a law banning Baptists from the colony. Baylor University History Professor Thomas Kidd explains.
KIDD: They were trying to maintain as much Puritan uniformity of religion as they could and they thought that Baptists in particular were disturbers of the public peace so they wouldn’t allow them to be in the colony.
One such dissenter was Obadiah Holmes. Arrested for preaching Baptist doctrine contrary to Massachusetts law, he was thrown in prison. When he wouldn’t pay the fine, his punishment was a public lashing with a three-cord whip.
KIDD: He chose to take this whipping in the name of religious freedom and the Baptist faith and so we look at him as a kind of hero for the cause of religious liberty in America.
On September 5th, 1651, a magistrate leads Holmes to the Boston Commons and ties him to a post. Holmes speaks boldly about holding true to the Word of God—glad to suffer for Christ. The jailer tears Holmes shirt off and mercilessly whips him 30 times. Eye witness accounts state that during the beating, he doesn’t scream or even groan.
KIDD: He’s just undaunted and he says it’s as if you’ve whipped me with roses. He was just incredibly calm during the scourging experience. And so that’s another reason why he’s set up as this courageous martyr for religious liberty.
The pain afterward is severe. As he couldn’t lie down, he rested on his knees and elbows for days.
After Obadiah Holmes recovers enough to travel, he returns home to a heroes welcome. The scars are visible the rest of his life.
Next, September 3rd, 1752—a day…well, that technically never existed.
AUDIO: [Sound of Gregorian Chant]
It all started 170 years earlier when Pope Gregory the eighth reformed the Julian calendar—introducing the “New Style” of 365 days. Countries that aligned with the Catholic church like Spain, Portugal, and France, adopted the Gregorian Calendar quickly. Many protestant countries, however, resisted—some even believing it was a “popish plot.”
But eventually, Great Britain and its many colonies were days off from other countries. So on September 2nd, Brits went to sleep like usual. But they woke up the next morning on September 14th. Eleven days, just gone.
Popular histories have long asserted that British subjects rioted over the lost time as their lives were shortened by 11 days. But recent scholarship suggests the claims of unrest are overblown. And while some may have felt a little like Rip Van Winkle, most people barely notice the change.
SONG: [Rip Van Winkle by The Devotions]
And finally, September 4th, 1972:
CLIP: A fortune and fabulous prizes may go to these people today if they know when…The Price is Right! [APPLAUSE]
The New Price Is Right premieres on CBS.
CLIP: And now here’s the star of the New Price is Right, Bob Barker! [APPLAUSE]
The Price is Right actually began on NBC in 1956.
CLIP: Now on with the game, you know how it works. We put the merchandise up for bid. You bid as high as you like, stop whenever you like, the merchandise goes to the person who bids the highest without going over the actual retail value. You keep coming back as long as you win. Now get all set for item number one…
The Price is Right ran for nine seasons, but went off the air in 1965 due to poor ratings. It was revamped and reintroduced eight years later by CBS.
CLIP: I get the impression you’re happy! Oh am I!!!
The new Price is Right kept the structure of its predecessor, but added many additional gameplay variations and viewer engagement.
CLIP: Now the fur coat is yours…how would you like to win more? Do you think you’re up for it? Can you stand it? I’ll try!
Bob Barker hosted many earlier game shows, but is best remembered today for his 35 seasons at the helm of The Price is Right. In the 90’s, Barker was the subject of a handful of lawsuits over sexual harassment and workplace discrimination on the show.
CLIP: I was in a conversation the other evening, and Barker’s Beauties were mentioned and they said you look so great, you girls just look so great, I said “they do look great!”…
Barker settled some of the lawsuits, while others dropped their cases. The legal drama left a cloud over his career. Barker retired from the show in 2007 and comedian Drew Carrey took over.
CLIP: Welcome to the Price is Right…the happiest place on earth! Look at this place…
More than 8,000 episodes since its debut, The Price Is Right is the longest running American game show in television history. TV Guide named it the “Greatest Game Show of All Time.”
That’s this week’s WORLD Radio History Book. I’m Paul Butler.