Schoolhouse Rock Premiered on this Day 49 Years Ago

by Kati Michelle
(Photo by Kari Rene Hall/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

If you’re like me, then your childhood education was probably sprinkled with some good ole Schoolhouse Rock. From learning about fractions to the purpose of conjunctions and how a bill actually becomes a law, the animated series always had our backs.

Well, it turns out today actually marks a pretty big day for the series as it celebrates its 49th birthday. That’s right, Schoolhouse Rock premiered on this day back in 1973. So join us as we take a look back at some of the most iconic musical shorts from the series.

Warning: you might walk away with an earworm (or even two), but rest assured they’re the good kind.

Schoolhouse Rock Asks ‘Conjunction Junction, What’s Your Function?’

Every good birthday party needs a bit of music and this party’s no different. That’s why we’re bringing back one of the most popular Schoolhouse Rock videos to date. “Conjunction Junction” first aired in 1973 as part of the Grammar Rock series. Bob Dorough provided the music and lyrics while Jack Sheldon actually performed the piece. Remember the little guy with the trains?

Check it out:

This clip taught kiddos about three particularly useful conjunctions (“and,” “but,” and “or”) which help hook up words, phrases, and clauses together. While this clip was arguably one of the best shorts in the Grammar Rock series, there was another popular short from the America Rock series that might just give it a run for its money. That, of course, would be “I’m Just a Bill.”

“I’m Just a Bill” premiered on Schoolhouse Rock in 1975, just a couple of years after “Conjunction Junction.” As the name suggests, this short clip follows a bill named, well, Bill. And in case you forgot, we meet him sitting on Capitol Hill with a long, long journey ahead of him (see what I did there?).

Here’s your refresh:

I’m just a bill. / Yes, I’m only a bill. / And I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill. / Well, it’s a long, long journey to the capital city. / It’s a long, long wait while I’m sitting in committee, / But I know I’ll be a law someday / At least I hope and pray that I will / But today I am still just a bill.

An Award-Winning Series

By the time the series wrapped up in 2009, it had already taken home 4 major wins and 4 additional nominations when it came to the Daytime Emmy Awards. Schoolhouse Rock excelled in the “Outstanding Children’s Instructional Series” category and “Outstanding Children’s Animated Program” category, as per IMDb.

Can’t get enough? The Schoolhouse Rock videos are available to stream on Disney+ and YouTube.