The Movie: Poltergeist (1982)
What Is It?: Cute little girl gets sucked into haunted TV. Pretty soon her whole family is getting smacked around by trees, swimming pools, and toy clowns. A strange and disturbing union of Tobe Hooper horror and Steven Spielberg family fantasy. However, the grossest scene in the movie --a dude ripping off his own face--seems like Spielberg's (see his similar one that climaxes Raiders of the Lost Ark).
Why Today?: On this day in 1950, The FCC licenses the first color television broadcast system.