50 years ago today, ‘60 Minutes’ first premiered with the sound of a stopwatch. The unique reporter-centered investigative journalism proved eventually popular and the show, produced by Don Hewitt, broke a record this year, being renewed for its 51st season on CBS.

With reporters like Harry Reasoner, Mike Wallace, Morley Safer, Lesley Stahl, and Dan Rather, it pioneered investigative journalism techniques like re-editing interviews, hidden cameras, and “gotcha journalism” with surprise visits to the homes or offices. For 34 years, Andy Rooney’s quirky final minutes of humorous commentary became a show staple. WATCH a few of the juiciest moments in this CBS tribute to Mike Wallace… (1968)

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Devils Tower to be the first U.S. National Monument (1906)
  • Guinness, Ireland’s unofficial national drink, celebrates its birthday (1759)
  • Jim Henson, the Muppets puppeteer, was born (1936–1990)
  • The U.S. Court of appeals ordered the University of Mississippi to admit James Meredith, a black man (1962)
  • Trinidad and Tobago – Republic Day (1976)
  • Rhodesia rulers agreed to introduce black majority rule within two years (1976)
  • Israel and the PLO agreed to sign a pact to end Israeli occupation in West Bank (1995)
  • The world’s major nuclear powers signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to end all testing and development of nuclear weapons–and U.S. President Clinton signed with the same pen with which John F. Kennedy signed the1963 Limited Test Ban Treaty–although ratification was never achieved by 6 of the countries, including the US. (1996)

And, on this day in 1975, Dougal Haston and Doug Scott on the British Southwest Face expedition, supported by a team of more than a dozen, became the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest by its south-west face.Mount_Everest_Southwest_Face-CC-Rdevany

In an event that has been described as “the apotheosis of the big, military-style expeditions,” Chris Bonington led the operation which used rock climbing techniques to attach fixed ropes on the face. A key aspect of the success of the climb was the scaling of the cliffs of the Rock Band at about 8,200 metres (27,000 ft) by Nick Estcourt and Tut Braithwaite.

And on this day in 1896, author F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in Minnesota.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century, Fitzgerald penned many short stories and four novels, including The Great Gatsby, The Beautiful and Damned, and Tender Is the Night. Shortly before his first book was published, This Side of Paradise, he was so broke that he took up a job repairing car roofs. The novel was an instant success. WATCH a short bio…

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