Emmys Pick 10 Biggest Moments in TV History

From Beatles and MLK Jr., all the way through 9/11 coverage, these moments made an impression
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2024 12:40 PM CST

The Emmys take place Monday, and it's the awards ceremony's 75th anniversary of celebrating the best on the boob tube. To honor that milestone, the Television Academy assembled members and academics who sifted through more than seven decades of TV gold, including news reports, sitcoms, dramas, variety shows, made-for-TV movies, and even children's programming, per US News & World Report. The result: 75 of the most impactful television moments on the small screen, with the Apollo 11 moon landing—and astronaut Neil Armstrong's famous line—coming in at No. 1. Here, the top 10 moments on the telly, as well as the decade in which they aired:

  1. Apollo 11 moon landing (1960s)
  2. Live coverage of 9/11 terror attack on World Trade Center of 2001
  3. Beatles performing on Ed Sullivan's show (1960s)
  4. Kunta Kinte being named by his father in premiere episode of Roots (1970s)
  5. Walter Cronkite announcing JFK's death (1960s)
  6. Martin Luther King Jr. delivering his "I have a dream speech" (1960s)
  7. Mister Rogers inviting Officer Clemmons into a wading pool on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (1960s)
  8. Hawkeye Pierce leaving dismantled camp in chopper in series finale of M-A-S-H (1980s)
  9. First music video, "Video Killed the Radio Star," on MTV (1980s)
  10. Premiere of Saturday Night Live, with George Carlin (1970s)
See the full list. (More Emmy Awards stories.)

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