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Television provided continuous local coverage for over 27 hours.

The unfolding tragedy proved that live television news coverage could not only inform, but also unite a community.

Plus, each night, viewers could see the newsmen they had trusted for years.

One of the biggest national concerns of the decade, along with the Korean War, involved The Cold War and the national fear of communist infiltration.

Meet the Press began broadcasting out of the nation's capitol to become the longest-running news program ever.

Perhaps the brightest star of the era was Milton Berle, “America’s favorite uncle.” Berle brought his vaudeville sensibilities to NBC’s Texaco Star Theatre and made it an unprecedented success.

A quick primer on the highlights of American TV history, and the legends who shaped it.

The networks had initially offered short newscasts peppered with filmed newsreel footage – but that didn’t last long.

How would they dominate this new commercial medium, without destroying their hugely profitable radio divisions? Networks expanded their reach as key cities built broadcast facilities.

Television showed signs of becoming a commercial success, at least until the US entered World War II.

In 1951, NBC programming head Pat Weaver conceived Today as a news and entertainment wake-up show called Rise and Shine. But the events that loomed on the horizon in the 1950s made the show into one of the most important news programs ever produced by that network.

As the decade closed, the television industry was hit again with the quiz show scandals.

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