'Sesame Street's' been swept, but the magic of show remains

sesameIn the early days of "Sesame Street" - that is, B.E. (Before Elmo) - Sesame Street was a pretty grubby place.

The brownstone at 123 Sesame Street looked like it needed a serious power washing, the storefront of Mr. Hooper's shop was intentionally dingy and the Fix-It Shop's window was cluttered with toasters. It was grainy, but gritty in a magical way.

When the show started in 1969 ("Sesame Street" will celebrate its 40th anniversary on November 10), the concept of educational television programming was nothing short of revolutionary. "Sesame Street" was originally intended as a learning tool for inner-city children - not only as a supplement to their lessons in math and the ABCs but to teach them to be good people and show them that learning can be fun.

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