Our First Televised Auction - 1966

Our First Televised Auction


In the early ‘60s, KRMA began looking for ways to obtain additional funding to produce more local programming and expand its total broadcast hours. It turned to San Francisco’s educational station, KQED, which had been airing an annual and highly successful auction for over 10 years. Following the San Francisco format, KRMA had its first televised auction June 1-3, 1966.

An “army" of volunteers gathered donations from businesses and individuals. Some of the more interesting items donated were: cowboy boots worn by Chuck Connors in “The Rifleman," a naval hat worn by Ernest Borgnine in “McHale’s Navy," an African spear from the collection of Hollywood actor Cornel Wilde, an apron worn by Irene Ryan in her role as Granny from the “Beverly Hillbillies," a medical jacket signed by actor Vince Edwards of “Ben Casey” fame, a unicycle and a certificate for $75 worth of prescriptions.

Live animals were also included in the auction. Some examples: a Shetland pony, a black sheep and a 500-pound female bison yearling. Mrs. John Love (Governor John Love’s wife) donated “toe covers” to the first auction that she explained were “things you wear on your toes when you break a leg and have to wear a cast.”

The first televised auction, known as “Action Auction,” featured several bands providing entertainment and an estimated 100 auctioneers who were community leaders and local radio/television personalities. A gross profit of approximately $22,000 was realized from the 1966 auction.

Did you know?

  • Over 1,000 volunteers participated in the first auction.
  • There were no pre-written scripts for the items sold.
  • Chuck Connors’ cowboy boots were a size 14.
  • A 500-pound female bison was dubbed “Miss KRMA of 1966.”
  • 1,100 items were auctioned off in KRMA's first auction.
  • The Shetland pony up for bid was named Kibosh.


  • Station’s Archived Memories (SAM) archives of Rocky Mountain PBS
  • Rocky Mountain News, January 30, 1966
  • The Denver Post, 1966
  • Broomfield Star Builder, March 17, 1966
  • Rocky Mountain News, April 28, 1966
  • Rocky Mountain News, 1966
  • Aurora Star, 1966
  • The Denver Post, June 1, 1966

Articles Written and Researched by SAM volunteers

This Month in the History of Rocky Mountain PBS

Brought to you by Station's Archived Memories (SAM)