These exceptional moments changed how we watched TV.
8) The Assassination and Funeral of President Kennedy
The assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 left the nation speechless. The sense of numbness and shock that adults and even children felt upon hearing the news has remained in memory for many of us. The famous question “where were you when JFK was assassinated?” is one we all have an answer for because we cannot forget. President Kennedy’s funeral procession 3 days later was a moment for reflection on what our nation had become, especially in light of the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald.
8) Lee Harvey Oswald Live on National TV
Still reeling from the assassination of JFK, the nation looked on it horror as Lee Harvey Oswald was shot by Jack “Ruby” Rubenstein on national TV only 2 days after the tragedy in Dealy Plaza. Sometimes referred to as the nation’s shame, this tragedy only intensified the shock and pain of losing our president.
10) First Instant Replay
1963 during the Army-Navy football game a TV-first was introduced: instant replay. It happened during this very special game, played in honor of JFK and at Jackie’s request despite being less than 30 days from the president’s assassination. The instant replay machine was a huge beast weighing more than a thousand pounds invented by Tony Verna, but the effort was worth it. This history-making concept changed the way we watch sports and gave us a new take on what TV meant.
11) The Dick Van Dyke Show Intro
The family man we love to laugh at made us chuckle with his playful tumble over his living room ottoman on the intro of The Dick Van Dyke Show. As a special play for the audience, Carl Reiner decided to shoot an alternate intro showing Van Dyke successfully side-stepping the ottoman and he mandated that the second intro be shown at random, leaving us guessing which it would every time.
12) The Mysterious One-armed Man
The 1967 two part series finale of The Fugitive captured that nation’s attention with almost half of all Americans tuning in to find out how this thrilling show would end.
13) Walter Cronkite & the Vietnam War
After visiting the front, Walter Cronkite informed American viewers and the world that the Vietnam War is at a stalemate, as “unsatisfactory” as it sounds. This 1968 broadcast influenced opinions across the nation and Lyndon B. Johnson never recovered politically from that blow.
14) The Infamous Heidi Bowl
In 1968, the pre-empting of the Jets-Raiders football game in favor of the previously-scheduled movie Heidi had sports fans in a ruffle. After this sports games were run until their completion so that fans wouldn’t miss the ends of their favorite games.
15) Moon Landing
Keeping good on JFK’s promise to send a man to the moon, the 1969 moon landing was one of the most important moments in the history of space exploration. To see Buzz Aldrin bouncing on the surface of the moon was an incredible moment.
These ground-breaking moments in TV history impacted how shows and events were broadcast and brought the world right to our living rooms. What do you remember about this incredible events? Let us know in the comments below.