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MPT Beginnings

The foundation of Maryland Public Television began nearly a decade before its first broadcast. Two volunteer groups, the Women’s Committee for Educational Television and the Maryland Council for Educational Television, lobbied for two years before the FCC granted the latter group an educational, noncommercial broadcasting license in 1964. In 1966, Gov. J. Millard Tawes signed into law the establishment of “educational-cultural television” and created a special commission to guide its development. The newly formed Maryland Center for Public Broadcasting (MCPB), led by its founding executive director, Dr. Frederick Breitenfeld, Jr., was allocated Channel 67 on the ultra-high frequency (UHF) band. In June 1966, ground was broken for a 50,000-square-foot broadcasting facility in Owings Mills, Maryland. Three years later, on October 5, 1969, MCPB aired its very first program, an original historical drama called Nightmare’s Child.

Nightmare's Child

Baltimore News American - MPT

Baltimore News American feature on Channel 67, January 10, 1971

MPT FCC License, 1970

FCC license for non-commercial educational television broadcasting, 1970


This pamphlet was create to education viewers/friends about the coming of cable TV, a phenomenon still in its infancy at the time, early 1970s


Nightmare's Child Umatic Tape


Founding executive director Dr. Frederick Breitenfeld (standing) with master control director John Harvey, 1971

billboard with the text 'Channel 67 on the air now'

Local billboard promotes new Channel 67, circa 1969

ElectroVoice Mic, 1969

ElectroVoice 635A dynamic omnidirectional microphone on table stand, circa 1969

Manufacture Tag plate

Manufacturer's tag plate from the first Owings Mills analog antenna, in use 1969-2009

Fresnel spotlight, circa 1950s

Inaugural Program Journal, October 1969


Auxiliary antenna for channel 67, about 1000 watts. Early 1970s