There was a time in the not-too-distant past when television was not a round-the-clock institution. Count yourself fortunate if you never discovered this firsthand, but at the end of a very long broadcast day, the screen would fill with patriotic images and the Star-Spangled Banner would blare from a tinny speaker. Some folks held that letting the Star-Spangled Banner end without having turned off the set was bad luck, and would leap from their easy chairs and stride across the room to switch it off, because in those days, only the well-heeled had televisions with remote controls.
Blame Ted Turner for the disappearance of the Star-Spangled Banner from late-night living rooms. Turner launched 24-hour programming, and in due time the industry followed suit. Without an end to the broadcast day, there was no pre-signoff patriotism.
At least one broadcast company is bringing it back. Gray TV, which owns and operates WTVY in Dothan, has announced it will add the Star-Spangled Banner beginning next week.
It will be a welcome addition, like seeing an old friend return to the airwaves.