Lucy Ricardo needs to get a passport for her upcoming trip to Europe, but for some strange reason the Jamestown Hall of Records has no record of her birth! Passport officials assure Ricky that if Lucy can produce two people who can sign sign affidavits swearing that they have known her since birth, they will waive the birth certificate requirement. When tracking down two such individuals proves to be a problem -- Lucy threatens to stow away in Fred's old steamer trunk! Lucy's problems are solved when Lucy's onetime pediatrician arrives and tells her she was not born in Jamestown at all -- but in West Jamestown -- and her mother sends a copy of the needed birth certificate.
"The Passports," episode #138 of I Love Lucy was filmed by Desilu 48 years ago this week, on November 17, 1955.
Like many of the Lucy adventures, this one was based on an incident that occurred in real life. It befell writer-producer Jess Oppenheimer's mother in the late 1930s when she applied for a passport. The bureaucrats needed to see her late husband's citizenship papers (he had been born in Germany). She thought there would be no problem, but lo and behold the naturalization office in San Francisco (where they were living) had no record of his citizenship. Crisis was averted when a last-minute check revealed that Oppenheimer Sr. had been sworn-in as a citizen not in San Francisco, but in Sacramento.
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