On 77 for 50

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We recently watched the NBC special honoring Tom Brokaw for his fifty years with NBC News. Serendipitously, February 6th was Mr. Brokaw’s 77th birthday. So this post tries to put the two events together.

I was thinking about his 50 years in television news. Wow .. he’s seen so much in his life in news. In honor of Tom Brokaw’s years of service and dedication to the news, plus his birthday, here are 77 events (listed alphabetically) that happened during his time at NBC.

13 US Presidential elections
5 popes
1968: The most turbulent year in US history (outside of the Civil War)
A new millennium

Arab Spring
Argentina invades Falkland Islands
Assassinations of MLK, RJK, Sadat, Rabin, and Indira Gandhi
Beatles breakup

Capsules to space shuttles to International Space Station
Challenger disaster
China: from hidden to economic power
Civil Rights Movement
Cloning and Dolly the Sheep

Cold War
Computers, fax, cell phones
Dismantling the Berlin Wall

Elian Gonzalez
Elvis and Michael Jackson deaths
Emergence of the global economy
Era of airplane hijackings
Exxon Valdez

Fall of the USSR
First African-American US President
First test-tube baby
Genocides in Bosnia, Cambodia, and Rwanda
German reunification

Goodbye to Pan Am, Blockbuster Video, Woolworth’s, Oldsmobile, TWA, and Enron
Hello to Apple, Google, Facebook, eBay, Amazon, and Microsoft
Human Genome Mapping
Hurricane Katrina
Internet, Social Media

Iraq War
Jeffrey Dahmer
JenBenet Ramsey
Jonestown Massacre
Gaddafi, Hussein, Amin, Ho Chi Minh, Pinochet,

Last issues of Saturday Evening Post, Life, Look
Lorena Bobbitt’s revenge
Mad Cow and Legionnaires Disease
Media shift from information to opinions
Moon landing

Mother Teresa
Nuclear accident at 3-Mile Island
Oil embargo
OJ Simpson trial
Oklahoma City bombings

Only resignation of a president in US history
Pan Am Flight 103 bombed over Lockerbie
Panama Canal to Panama and Hong Kong to China
Patty Hearst kidnapping

Pocket calculators introduced
Princess Diana
Race divisions and integration
Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
Roe vs. Wade

September 11th
Super Bowl: from a football game to a marketing and entertainment giant
Thatcher, Mandela, Gorbachev, Meir, Walesa, 10 US Presidents, and Queen Elizabeth
The European Union forms
Terror at the Munich Olympics

Tienemann Square
Titanic found
Tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, and volcanoes
Urban riots of the 1960s
Various Middle East conflicts

Viagra introduced
Vietnam War
War on Terror
Women’s movement

Woodstock Music Festival

32 thoughts on “On 77 for 50

  1. Given all he’s witnessed, I would like to know what Tom Brokaw thinks now, when in the morning he opens up a newspaper, turns on his computer, and looks at the TV, about what’s happening in/to the United States?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Back in the mid 70’s my beloved aged aunt told me as she neared the same age that she had seen the world change drastically from the days when she started work at 14. Her first job was as a kitchen maid and her first daily task was to go to the end of the street with the milk can at 5.30 to fetch the milk for the household. The milk cart was pulled by two draught horses. Her last job before retirement brought her in daily contact with politicians, Prime Ministers and world leaders. But when asked about the changes she had seen she told me of her first job “I have gone from those days” she said “to seeing a man land on the moon. It is a wonder!” I wonder what she would say now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am one year younger than Tom and realize I lived through all that you have listed. Under “R” I would have listed Rock and Roll music term coined. Under “A” I would have added Atom Bomb developed and used. Oh, shoot. I could go on and on but you did a super job, Frank. After all, you had to decide on the top 77 and I think you nailed it. 🙂 My comment is Obama’s fault.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. John,
    No question you have seen a lot. But it is Obama’s fault that you didn’t notice that the list only covered his time at NBC News (50 years). That’s ok because you have an alibi.


  5. What an amazing career Mr. Brokaw had, and what dynamic times he reported to us. Thank you Mr. B!
    I’d like to tie his 77th birthday to his 50 years through the magic of numerology.
    50 = 5 + 0 = 5
    77 = 7+ 7 = 14 = 1+4 = 5
    Seems Mr. Brokaw is coming up fives. Well, here’s a “High-Five” to you, Mr. B. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I grew up in a home where we ate our dinner to the nightly news. I’m sure somewhere along the line I grew unsensitized to graphic images while eating a bowl of spaghetti. Tom Brokaw has just always been a voice and a presence that I follow even now, as he writes so thoughtfully about the chaos we’re currently experiencing. This list is just fascinating, Frank. You’ve definitely created an interesting timeline of events that have shaped who we are as a nation, and in some instances, as individuals. And the list gets longer every day! Hold onto our hats (and sanity!).


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