Monday, October 18, 2010

TV Moments That Changed Us

Fifty years ago in October, America launched a new political tool, televised presidential debates. Richard Nixon won the debate among radio listeners, but Americans watching live named young, tan, telegenic John F. Kennedy the victor. Kennedy’s 1960 TV victory, viewed by 70 million viewers is just one of the milestone broadcasts that shaped America’s identity for the last half-century. Here are some other TV moments that changes us forever:

November 22-25, 1963
J.F. K’s Assassination/Funeral Coverage
Television news bound American’s together during a national tragedy.
93 percent of U. S. televisions tuned in.

February 9, 1964
The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show
Fans saw The Fab Four on screen for the first time.
73 Million fans kicked off the rock ‘n’ roll revolution.

August 26-29, 1968
Democratic Convention Riots
While anti-war activist demonstrated, 16.2 million viewers watched 28,000 law enforcement fight against the nation’s first widespread peace protest.

January 12, 1969
Super Bowl III
41.6 million viewers watched Joe Namath’s AFL Jets stomp the heavily favored NFL Colts in a 16-7 upset, setting the stage for years of Sunday showdowns to come.

July 20, 1969
Apollo 11 Moon Landing
528 million viewers world-wide watched Neil Armstrong’s giant leap for mankind.
Soviet television refused to broadcast the feat.

July 29, 1981
Britain’s Prince of Wales Weds Lady Diana Spencer
750 viewers around the globe watched the nuptials. The world’s love affair with Princess Diana long outlasted the couple’s marriage.

August 1, 1981
MTV Debuts
MTV’s debut song was the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star”. The station garnered 2.1 million subscribers in the first year.

January16, 1991
Persian Gulf War Invasion
Operation Desert Storm opened live in living rooms across the country.
Thanks to CNN 118 million viewers watched a war in real time.

September 11, 2001
Terrorist attack America
80 million viewers watched the news of the terrorist attacks. The video of the toppling twin towers shattered America’s sense of security.

Source: October 2010 AARP Bulletin

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