52 years on air.

“General Hospital” celebrates 52 years on air today and is currently the longest running soap opera. A special 52nd anniversary episode of General Hospital will air today which recreates scenes from the first episode using the current cast. The original episode focused on a young teenager whose face was disfigured in a drunk driving accident caused by her boyfriend.

“For all fans that love ‘General Hospital,’ this is an episode you will not want to miss,” said Executive Producer Frank Valentini of the anniversary episode. “We will revisit that night on April 1, 1963 and expand the story, shedding new light on the past and addressing questions that ‘GH’ fans have been dying to have answered.”

To celebrate 52 years on the air, Soaps.com shares some interesting trivia on the ABC soap opera with our readers.

The name game.
Before it was “General Hospital” the working name for the show was actually “Emergency Hospital.”

Competing medical dramas.
“GH” wasn’t the only new show to premier on April 1, 1963. NBC’s “The Doctors,” another medical themed soap, launched the same day.

That iconic image.
The University of Southern California Medical Center in Los Angeles was the face of “GH” in the original opening credits of the show as well as for years to come.

Expanded time slot.
“GH” began life as a 30 minute soap. It expanded to 45 minutes in 1976, and finally to a full hour in 1978.

Where in New York?
When “GH” first began airing the town it took place in was nameless. It wasn’t until 1977 that it decided that the show was set in Port Charles, New York.

Spin-offs.
“Port Charles” wasn’t the first spin-off that “GH” produced, that honor went to “The Young Marrieds” way back in 1964. The show only lasted two years before being canceled and took place in the suburb of Queen’s Point. Liz Webber (Rebecca Herbst) and Robin Scorpio-Drake (Kimberly McCullough) have both lived in the same suburb.

The curse of The Haunted Star.
Elizabeth Taylor (ex-Helena Cassadine) was a super-fan of “GH” back in the eighties and a guest role was written especially for her. Taylor (Helena) crashed Luke (Tony Geary) and Laura’s (Genie Francis) famous wedding as Helena Cassadine in order to curse the couple for the death of her husband Mikkos (John Colicos). She gifted them The Haunted Star as part of the curse. Taylor was paid $2000 for her role on “GH,” all of which she donated to charity.

Anna and Robert.
Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) and Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) are one of the shows most popular super couples. The role of Robert was initially only supposed to be a two day part. Meanwhile Anna was introduced with a large scar on the side of her face, but it was later written to be fake in order to rid the actress of having to constantly wear the make-up.

Rock on.
Rick Springfield (Dr. Noah Drake) is by far the most well known rock star to emerge from “GH,” but he’s not the only one. John Stamos (ex-Blackie Perish) went on to play Uncle Jessie on “Full House,” but found modest success playing drums and guitar with The Beach Boys and released a cover of their song “Forever.” Ricky Martin, who started out in the band Menudo, played Miguel Morez from 1994 until 1996 and later went on to find international success as a solo artist. Jack Wagner (ex-Frisco Jones, ex-Dominick Marone on “The Bold and the Beautiful”) has dabbled in music for years, but hit it big in 1984 with “All I Need,” which can still be heard on soft rock stations across America. Finally Scott Reeves (ex-Steven Webber, ex-Ryan McNeil, “The Young and the Restless”) was part of the country duo Blue Country and also has a band called Port Chuck which features fellow “GH” stars Steve Burton (ex-Jason Morgan, Dylan MacAvoy “The Young and the Restless”), Bradford Anderson (Damian Spinelli), and Brandon Barash (ex-Johnny Zacchara).

Soap’s first recap.
Soaps.com wrote their first recap of “GH” on Monday August 7, 2006. For a look back in time to when Lucky struggled with his addiction to pills, Carly was defending Jason as usual, and Sonny faced off with a South American mobster, read Happy 51st Anniversary To General Hospital!

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– Dustin Cushman