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 Celebrate ‘Sesame Streets’ 40th anniversary by taking a closer look at the ground-breaking history of the most socially relevant show in TV history.

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By Sade Hurst / Staff Writer

( Khai Le)

By Sade Hurst / Staff Writer

 America’s favorite block turns 40!

Before there were best friends Dora the Explorer and Boots there were Bert and Ernie.
The most popular vampire in the world is still the Count, and “Twilight” will be just a mere memory as he continues to teach young kids how to count.
 
No matter what, people will still look out for the latest and greatest Tickle Me Elmo toy during every holiday season. 
 
Even if Simon Cowell may seem like a total grouch, he can’t come close to the trash can resident Oscar the Grouch.
 
 Big Bird will always be able to play in the NBA if he believes he can.
 
On Nov. 10, “Sesame Street” celebrated its 40th birthday. It has been a popular show with kids and adults since 1969, proving that TV can teach.
 
They have taught the basics such as the alphabet, numbers, how to rhyme, tie your shoes, put on your jacket and everything else children need to know.
 
What sets “Sesame Street” apart from other children shows is that they’ve taught children how to deal with difficult situations.
 
When Will Lee, who played  Mr. Hooper, passed away Big Bird taught children how to deal with grief when someone dies. Big Bird also taught us how to deal with disaster after the tragedy of 9/11.
 
Other characters like Kermit the Frog taught us that it wasn’t easy being different by singing “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”
 
“Sesame Street” kicked off this season by inviting first lady Michelle Obama to teach the young audience how to grow their own gardens. The children learned that the smallest of seeds can grow into something healthy and delicious.
 
“Sesame Street” has always been a political representation of the times since it first aired.
 
It has used a diverse cast who are different shades and cultures. Characters like Linda Bove (who played herself as a deaf character) taught kids how to communicate using sign language.
 
It was the friendship of tap dancer Savion Glover and veterinarian Gina that taught children that people of different skin colors can be friends.
 
Like Glover, many other celebrities have visited “Sesame Street” since the show premiered. As a matter of fact, the show could probably list celebrities from A to Z. The children’s show is so popular it would be no surprise to see Elmo on Paula Deen’s cooking show.
 
When “Sesame Street” first premiered not all of the muppets were on the show and they did not all look like the characters we see today.
 
Big Bird originally had a “pin head” look and his voice sounded very dopey almost as if he was the dunce of the show.

While his long time friend Oscar the Grouch was not always trashy green, but in fact was highlighter orange.
 
Cookie Monster has recently changed his diet from all cookies to only oatmeal cookies.
After all that we have learned from “Sesame Street” and its continued popularity, it’s hard to imagine a world without the show. 
 
The show has not just taught American kids, it now airs in 140 nations.
 
Imagine what the world would be like without its amazing life lessons and diverse cast.

Would the world have the leaders it has today? Would most people even know the alphabet or basic math?
 
With “Sesame Street” we have learned more than numbers and letters, we have learned how to participate in change.
 
Before there was the message of change from the president, there was “Sesame Street’s” message of how to get along.
 
Happy birthday “Sesame Street,” and here’s to 40 more years of sunny days!