Petula Clark’s historic television moment
On this date in 1968, “Petula”, airs on NBC. Petula Clark’s one and only TV special features guest star Harry Belafonte performing a duet of the British pop sensation’s antiwar song, “On The Path Of Glory.” During taping, Clark spontaneously reached and touched Belafonte’s arm. This brought a protest from the show’s sponsor, Chrysler Corporation, who feared that the act would upset southern viewers.
To ensure that the gesture would air, Petula and her executive producer husband, Claude Wolff, destroy all other takes of the duet. It becomes the first interracial contact to be broadcast on American television.