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Bijan C. Bayne @bijancbayne
, 24 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Think back to an activity you were involved in before 1996. It could be a campus rehearsal, fam reunion, boot camp, a book reading, pickup basketball, where you were when you heard Lady Di died. No one had a smartphone. That's as culturally impactful as saying "No one had a car"
In 1979, not one Congressional or Senate staffer or legislative aide could look anything up on a search engine or laptop computer. Not even the most advanced individual.
When "Brian's Song", "Rich Man, Poor Man" & "Roots" originally aired, one could not tape them and watch at one's convenience.
One billion people watched the Ali-Foreman fight in theatres on closed circuit television. For the remainder of the world, the image of the fight was a still of a falling Foreman, & the footage was not televised in the U.S. for several years
When JFK was murdered, the street & sidewalk crowds in downtown Dallas were eight deep. So rare was film of the motorcade, Abe Zapruder was paid $150,000 for it by "LIFE". That's $1.2 million in 2018 money.
When "Rhoda" married Joe on an CBS in 1974, 52 million U.S. watched live. That's half the tv audience. It was the second most watched tv event in history (to Luci's pregnancy ep)
In 1967, the finale of "The Fugitive" was viewed live by 25.7 million households (45.9 percent of American households with a set- a 72 percent share), More than 78 million people watched. The population was 190 million
Imagine how many U.S. viewers watched the "Daisy Girl" ad, which only aired once. It never mentions Barry Goldwater by name. Then dig this:
When "The Ed Sullivan Show" aired, whether one enjoyed them or not, a forced literacy in tap, juggling, standup, soul, flamenco, classical, & The British Invasion was on national display. You couldn't watch something else on your phone or laptop.
That ecosystem forced a national literacy in presidential history, WW II, Yiddish, poets, classical music, the novel, playwrights, The Civil Rights Movement and the Viet Cong. Shared. Informed water cooler discussions.
When Sammy kissed Archie Bunker, a nation knew. In real time
A computer was a huge machine in a room which used keypunched cards to determine ideal dating matches.
When one romanced a teen, they either used the entire fam's phone (thus occupying their parents' line), or the phone in their BR. In the former case, this could be interrupted by a request to use said phone, or worse, an adult picking up the line from another room sans knowing
Cities had "morning papers" and "evening papers". Delivered to the crib by a youth. Via foot or bike. Cities also had pay telephone booths. Even indoors. Even in depots and airports. Some buildings had entire banks of payphones.
Making the cover of "TIME" was a big deal. Listening to "Casey Kasem's Top 40" was a huge deal- because he storytold. Seeing halftime highlights on "Monday Night Football" was so novel- they were discussed the next day @ school or work.
"Who Shot JR?" was a national, delayed satisfaction happening. "Luke" and Laura's wedding was the stuff of "Newsweek" covers. The expression "common knowledge" had currency. Watch some @Jeopardy answers now, that all three contestants miss
Six years after the Surgeon General's report, cigarette ads were banned from U.S. tv They were banned from print mags & newspapers. Overnight on Jan. 2, 1971. Heck, hosts & guests were still smoking ON tv!!! Sammy smoked while entertaining.
I haven't even mentioned radio much. I've read that when Joe Louis fought, in some communities there was not one person on the street. I've also heard when he copped, people would pour outdoors to revel
When "Tiny Tim" married Miss Vickie on "Tonight", that was a massive cultural hap
Until 1971 every World Series game was played during the daytime. How did U.S. children see WS games after the advent of tv?
Believe it or not, every moment of the summer Olympics (regardless of what event or studio host was actually on at a given instant), and every minute of the GOP & DNC conventions were aired. Networks didn't just pick up their coverage in prime time
Not one commercial tv series aired on the three major networks, between 12:30 p.m. EST Friday November 22, 1963, to early Monday evening November 25.
Today, the term "everyone watched" is non-existent, save for an annual pro football experience the U.S. shares each first Sunday in February. This lack, informs everything we do, see, believe, share, follow, buy, and dislike.
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