ATWT Storyline Timeline: 1956

Episode #1--April 2, 1956

Based on information contained in a review of As the World Turns in the April 4, 1956 issue of Variety, here is what happened:

Over the next few weeks, ATWT followed the storyline threads established in the premiere episode.

The following blurbs, which are paraphrased from TV Guide issues, show the story progress since the opening show.

  1. May 28 :Ellen waits anxiously for her father, Jim, to return from his Washington, D.C. business trip, but she's distressed to find out that he has already checked out of his hotel room.
  2. May 29 : Jim shows up at Edith's apartment.
  3. May 30 : Claire confronts Jim with knowledge of his affair with Edith.
  4. May 31 : Grandpa Hughes visits Edith's apartment and finds a picture of a man among her belongings.
  5. June 1 : Jim has an important talk with Claire; Ellen goes out on a date.
  6. June 4 : Judge Lowell, who is in the hospital being treated for a heart attack, tells his son, Jim, that Chris will become a junior partner in the family law firm.
  7. June 5: Chris decides to wait to accept the position until Judge Lowell has fully recovered.
  8. June 6: Claire has a talk with Dr. Douglas Cassen about the state of her marriage.
  9. June 7: Jim and Edie meet unexpectedly at the Hughes home.
  10. June 8: The worsening of Judge Lowell's condition prompts Claire to rush to the hospital.
  11. June 11: Chris tells his family about his new job.
  12. June 12: Edie argues with Chris over financial assistance.
  13. June 13: Claire visits Judge Lowell at the hospital.
  14. June 14: Mrs. Turner predicts that Donald Hughes and her daughter, Janice, will break up.
  15. June 15: Chris pleads with Nancy to keep a promise she made to Donald (She promised she wouldn't interfere with his love life).
  16. June 18: Chris learns the whereabouts of his long lost brother, John.
  17. June 19: Claire has dinner with Jim.
  18. June 20: Janice tells her mother that she's "sort of' engaged to Donald.
  19. June 21: The Hughes and Lowell families spend the evening together.
  20. June 22: Don gives the valedictory address at his high school graduation.
  21. June 25: Janice and Edith feel like outsiders among the Hugheses.
  22. June 26: Grandpa warns Edie about Jim.
  23. June 27: Penny argues with Nancy and accuses her of playing favorites.
  24. June 28: Nancy learns her sister, Pearl, is ill and leaves for Kansas City.
  25. June 29: Claire visits the Hugheses while Edie is present.
  26. July 2: Pa warns Chris about Penny.
  27. July 3: Don lies to Janice about the Hugheses' Fourth of July plans.
  28. July 4: Jim loses his temper with Claire.
  29. July 5: Don makes a confession to Grandpa.
  30. July 6: Edie refuses Pa's travel vacation suggestion.
  31. July 9: Chris offers to pay for Edie's vacation.
  32. July 10: Edie tells Jim that her trip may affect their relationship.
  33. July 11: Jan is worried about the state of her relationship with Don and asks him if she could still wear his ring.
  34. July 12: Penny learns that Ellen has invited Don to a country club dance.
  35. July 13: Chris tells Jim that he wants to help Edie overcome her unhappiness.
  36. July 16: Don dates Jan instead of welcoming Nancy back from Kansas City.
  37. July 17: Nancy is disappointed by Don's absence from her arrival.
  38. July 18: Chris tells Jim about his brother, John.
  39. July 19: Chris criticizes Don for his rudeness toward Ellen.
  40. July 20: Don finally accepts Ellen's invitation.
  41. July 23: Nancy urges Chris to visit his brother.
  42. July 24: Edie makes a decision during her vacation.
  43. July 25: Jim tells Claire he is having dinner with a client.
  44. July 26: Ellen tries to persuade Jim to join the family on their vacation.
  45. July 27: Grandpa offers his opinion about Edie's actions.
  46. July 30: Jim refuses to vacation with his family.
  47. July 31: Claire enlists Judge Lowell's aid.
  48. Aug. 1: Ellen plans for her parents' anniversary on Friday.
  49. Aug. 2: Jim forgets his anniversary.
  50. Aug. 3: Jim breaks a date with Edie because of his wedding anniversary.
  51. Aug. 6: Claire consults with Dr. Cassen about her headaches.
  52. Aug. 7: Grandpa goes to San Francisco to visit John, who is in jail.
  53. Aug. 8: Chris learns about his sister.
  54. Aug. 9: Judge Lowell suggests that Edie be transferred to San Francisco.
  55. Aug. 10: Edie learns about her twin brother, John; Jim tries to have a showdown with Claire.

Note: As the World Turns was pre-empted August 13-15, 1956 because of CBS' coverage of the Democratic Presidential Convention. TV Guide had no available information on the August 16 and 17 episodes of ATWT.

  1. Aug. 20: Mrs. Turner disapproves of the ring Don is getting Jan; Chris is haunted by Judge Lowell's threat.
  2. Aug. 21: Chris tells Jim that he wants Edie to go to San Francisco.
  3. Aug. 22: Edie is urged by Nancy to leave.
  4. Aug. 23: Judge Lowell tells Jim that he'll go to Edie unless Jim straightens out his family problems.
  5. Aug. 24: Penny has her first date today.
  6. Aug. 27: Don gives Jan a diamond ring; Jim tells Claire that he may leave home.
  7. Aug. 28: When Dr. Cassen tells Claire there is nothing organically wrong with her, she decides to go to a specialist for a second opinion on her headaches.
  8. Aug. 29: Edie tells Chris that she will not move to San Francisco.
  9. Aug. 30: Don and Jan surprise their parents.
  10. Aug. 31: Claire suspects that the "other woman" is Edith.
  11. Sept. 3: Jim, Claire, and Edith meet at the Hugheses.
  12. Sept. 4: Ellen suspects that something is wrong with her parents and tells Penny so.
  13. Sept. 5: Ellen tries to find out why her parents are disturbed.
  14. Sept. 6: Nancy tells Claire to try to keep her marriage from dissolving.
  15. Sept. 7: Chris' knowledge of the Lowells' problems comes between him and Nancy.
  16. Sept. 10: Ellen tells Penny about her family.
  17. Sept. 11: Ellen is disturbed about her parents.
  18. Sept. 12: Nancy tells Claire not to break up her marriage, if possible.
  19. Sept. 13: Chris and Nancy discuss the Lowells
  20. Sept. 14: Penny talks to Aunt Edie about the Lowells' troubles.
  21. Sept. 17: Nancy tells Pa about Claire.
  22. Sept. 18: Jim and Ellen look at Grandmother Lowell's portrait.
  23. Sept. 19: Pa tries to make Edie stop seeing Jim.
  24. Sept. 20: Pa and Chris struggle with Edie's problems and with their own consciences.
  25. Sept. 21: Jim tells Edie that Claire suspects her.
  26. Sept. 24: Claire considers a divorce.
  27. Sept. 25: Nancy discovers that Edie is destroying the Lowell marriage.
  28. Sept. 26: Claire is left alone for the evening.
  29. Sept. 27: Ellen receives a terrific shock.
  30. Sept. 28: Ellen tries to locate her father.
  31. Oct. 1: Jim tries to visit Claire at the hospital.
  32. Oct. 2: Dr. Cassen lies to Claire.
  33. Oct. 3: Ellen demands that Jim answer her questions; Jim promises to tell her the truth.
  34. Oct. 4: Edie defies her father.
  35. Oct. 5: Dr. Cassen forbids Jim to ask Claire for his freedom.
  36. Oct. 8: Jim thinks that Claire purposely took those sleeping pills to gain sympathy.
  37. Oct. 9: Judge Lowell finally visits Edith.
  38. Oct. 10: Pa tells Chris and Nancy that he has known about Edith and Jim for quite some time.
  39. Oct. 11: Ellen has a nightmare.
  40. Oct. 12: Edie tells Jim why she hates Chris.
  41. Oct. 15: Judge Lowell's trouble with Edith leads to a relapse.
  42. Oct. 16: Nancy goes to Edith for help.
  43. Oct. 17: Dr. Cassen warns Claire to take care of herself.
  44. Oct. 18: Claire asks Judge Lowell for help.
  45. Oct. 19: Chris fails to make up with Edie.
  46. Oct. 22: Claire says that she'll never give Jim a divorce.
  47. Oct. 23: Janice talks her mother into making the first move toward a get-together with the Hugheses.
  48. Oct. 24: Don asks his father about Mrs. Turner's invitation.
  49. Oct. 25: Penny senses that something is wrong with Edie.
  50. Oct. 26: Claire retreats from the world.
  51. Oct. 29: Don realizes that there are drawbacks in his engagement.
  52. Oct. 30: Jim promises to move to the club.
  53. Oct. 31: Claire and Edith meet unexpectedly.
  54. Nov. 1: Claire and Edith are uneasy at the Halloween party.
  55. Nov. 2: Claire forces Edith to discuss their mutual problem.
  56. Nov. 5: Claire accidentally frightens her child.
  57. Nov. 6: Ellen suspects her mother's strange behavior and calls the doctor.
  58. Nov. 7: Today, Ellen demands that Dr. Cassen answer her.
  59. Nov. 8: Judge summons Chris about Claire.
  60. Nov. 9: Jim learns some disheartening news.
  61. Nov. 12: Dr. Cassen tells Jim that he can't leave Claire.
  62. Nov. 13: Mrs. Turner and the Hugheses agree about Don and Jan.
  63. Nov. 14: Penny and Don visit Ellen.
  64. Nov. 15: Ellen bears the burden of Claire's illness.
  65. Nov. 16: Jim interrupts and argument between Pa and Edie.
  66. Nov. 19: Dr. Snyder has a consultation with Claire.
  67. Nov. 20: Ellen makes her Thanksgiving plans.
  68. Nov. 21: Penny persuades Aunt Edith to change her mind.

Nov. 22: ATWT was pre-empted for holiday programming.

  1. Nov. 23: Don sees Jim and guesses the truth.
  2. Nov. 26: Don and Jan run into serious problems.
  3. Nov. 27: Grandpa Hughes pays Jim a visit.
  4. Nov. 28: Jim's difficulties make Ellen happy.
  5. Nov. 29: Penny makes a forbidden date.
  6. Nov. 30: Penny asks Aunt Edith for help.
  7. Dec. 3: Penny loses an important argument.
  8. Dec. 4: The question puzzling Ellen is answered.
  9. Dec. 5: Penny's problems create a family crisis.
  10. Dec. 6: Claire begins receiving treatment.
  11. Dec. 7: Surprisingly, Penny wins a point.
  12. Dec. 10: Penny begins to worry about the dance.
  13. Dec. 11: Jim calls Edie.
  14. Dec. 12: We meet Jeff Baker.
  15. Dec. 13: Don forbids Jan to see his aunt.
  16. Dec. 14: Dr. Snyder learns more about Claire's problem.
  17. Dec. 17: Edie tells her secret to Jan.
  18. Dec. 18: Don plans to move away from Janice.
  19. Dec. 19: Penny and Don reach an agreement.
  20. Dec. 20: Jan tells Don that she wants to marry him.
  21. Dec. 21: Penny and Ellen go to the dance.
  22. Dec. 24: Pa and Penny decorate the Christmas tree.
  23. Dec. 25: Claire's illness puts a damper on Christmas.
  24. Dec. 26: Edie tells Chris about Jim.
  25. Dec. 27: Ellen asks Dr. Cassen a question.
  26. Dec. 28: Jan lays down the law to Don.
  27. Dec. 31: The Lowells and Hugheses celebrate the New Year.

Source: TV Guide issues from May to December 1956.

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