On this day in pop culture history: ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ first aired

Nearly five decades ago, the Grinch first set out to ruin Christmas in Whoville on our living room screens. On this day in 1966, the Christmas special “Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” first aired on CBS.

Based on Dr. Seuss” 1957 children”s book, the now-classic Yuletide story has since been adapted again for a live action feature starring Jim Carrey.

The Grinch was a Scrooge for a new era, and the very word “Grinch” has become synonymous with humbug-ery and mean-spiritedness that no one wants during the holidays.

Of course, the furry green guy redeemed himself, and for years of watching this special, the sight of his heart growing three sizes has melted our own.

Other notable happenings in pop culture history:

• 1892: In St. Petersburg at the Mariinsky Theatre, Tchaikovsky”s “The Nutcracker” premiered.

• 1956: The game show “To Tell The Truth” premiered on CBS.

• 1961: The Tokens” “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” hit No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It topped the chart for three weeks.

• 1968: “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” opened in New York City.

• 1969: “On Her Majesty”s Secret Service” – the sixth James Bond film and the only one to star George Lazenby – premiered.

• 1985: “The Color Purple” opened in select theaters. “Out of Africa” also hit theaters on this day. Both films earned 11 Oscar nominations each.

• 1998: “The Prince of Egypt” and “You”ve Got Mail” opened in theaters.

• 2009: “Avatar” hit theaters, soon to become the highest grossing film of all time.

Birthdays: “Jaws” director Steven Spielberg (turns 69 today), pop singer Christina Aguilera (35), “Little Women” director Gillian Armstrong (65), “Pretty Little Liars” actress Ashley Benson (26), “Once Upon a Time” actor Josh Dallas (37), “Dawson”s Creek” actress Katie Holmes (37), “Goodfellas” actor Ray Liotta (61), “Wizards of Waverly Place” actress Bridgit Mendler (23), “Fight Club” actor Brad Pitt (52), Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards (72), pop singer Sia (40), “Starship Troopers” actor Casper Van Dien (47)