Today in History: September 24

The first edition of 60 Minutes was broadcast on CBS on this date in 1968.

About to begin its 49th season, with several spin-offs and more than 1000 episodes, the program holds many American broadcasting records: the longest continuously running show in prime time; the only show (of any kind) that has been in the top ten for as many seasons (it was in the top ten for 23 consecutive seasons); the only show that has been a top 25 show each season for the last 41 seasons. It is one of only four shows to have been the top-rated program for an entire season for as many as five seasons.

The creator of the show, Don Hewitt, had worked with Edward R. Murrow on both of Murrow’s legendary television news programs: See It Now, a hard-hitting news magazine with long-form articles, and Person to Person, an interview and celebrity profile show. Hewitt wanted to produce a show that would combine “high Murrow” with “low Murrow.” Hewitt remained the executive producer of the 60 Minutes until 2004.

Video of the first episode is available online, but behind a paywall erected by CBS News. For a bit of what the program looked like in 1968, here is the third-ever episode from a couple weeks later:

The famous “ticking clock” is present, but it is there as a sponsor’s ad. It is a wristwatch from Bulova.

* * * *
Dr. Seuss died 25 years ago today.

* * * *
F. Scott Fitzgerald was born on this date in 1896. Jim McKay was born on this date in 1921. Anthony Newley was born in 1931 on this date. Jim Henson was born 80 years ago today. Linda McCartney was born in 1941 on this date. Phil Hartman was born 68 years ago today.

* * * *
Lou Dobbs is 71. “Mean” Joe Greene is 70. It is the birthday of the writer and actor and all-around kind person Nia Vardalos today! Kyle Turley is 41. Stephanie McMahon is 40.

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Please comment here. Thank you, Mark.

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