Happy Anniversary!

Today, January 5, 2011, marks All My Children‘s 41st Anniversary. Created by Agnes Nixon in 1970, audiences were introduced to the residents of Pine Valley, most notably Erica Kane, played by Susan Lucci, who has been with the show since day one. Although families and characters would come and go over the years, the ABC soap has continued to tell socially relevant stories sprinkled in between the romance and drama.

Since day one, All My Children has tackled taboo storylines, whether it be drug use, abortion, homosexuality, the Vietnam war or the Iraq war. Unfortunately, not all stories remained intact, as the baby Erica famously aborted in the 70s turned up alive decades later and Bianca’s historic gay marriage to Reese was practically over before it even started, and has since been relegated to the back burner. Others have fared a little better, as All My Children has seen its fair share of super couples: Erica and Jack, Greg and Jenny, Tad and Dixie, Edmund and Maria, Greenlee and Leo, Jesse and Angie, Adam and Brooke and all those in between.

Sadly, Pine Valley lost a few of their residents along the way. Most recently, the show paid tribute to James Mitchell last year as his death facilitated the on air passing of long standing Pine Valley resident Palmer Cortlandt. Others were lost due to the production’s move from New York to Los Angeles and viewers were forced to say goodbye to popular mainstays David Canary (Adam) and Thorsten Kaye (Zach), who opted not to move with the show.

Even though All My Children has been dogged by fans and critics alike for its uneven writing of late, it enters its 41st year with an emphasis on the core families in Pine Valley: the Martins, the Chandlers, the Cortlandts, the Kanes and the Hubbards. There may be some new faces and new dynamics to these families, but they’re still focused on love, loss, family and corporate intrigue.

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