EDWARDS – This month marks the 50th anniversary of the NBC show “I Dream of Jeannie.” To celebrate the event, a group of the sitcom’s aficionados — The Jeannie Journal on Facebook — traveled from around the country to NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center.
They wanted to visit and photograph one of the show’s iconic opening scenes: the circle in front of the main NASA building with the X-1E supersonic plane on a pedestal.
The scene served as the NASA workplace entrance used by astronauts Tony Nelson, played by Larry Hagman, and Roger Healy, played by Bill Daily. Majors Nelson and Healy were seen routinely driving to work, supposedly at Cape Canaveral, Florida, when they were in fact driving up to the entrance of what is today called Armstrong Flight Research Center.
The center was renamed n 2014 in honor of astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to step on the moon during the historic Apollo 11 mission in 1969.
The NASA facilities are currently used for the agency’s journey to Mars, developing and testing new technology for spacecraft and aeronautical advancements that show NASA is also with you when fly.
“I Dream of Jeannie” was a hit NBC show in the 1960s, airing from 1965-1970. Astronaut Nelson, following an off-course return from space, discovered the main character, played by Barbara Eden, in a genie bottle on a deserted Island.
After discovering the bottle, Nelson rubbed it, and out came the genie who eventually conjures up a rescue helicopter. Once released from her bottle, Jeannie falls in love with astronaut Nelson and declines her freedom, opting to travel back to Florida in secret to serve her new master.
The program ran for five seasons and appeared in color starting with the second season. The story was set in Cocoa Beach, Florida, but most of it was shot on locations in California.