Nightly News   |  January 13, 2012

‘TODAY’ turns 60

A slew of past and present anchors reunited at 30 Rock Friday to celebrate the Today show’s 60th anniversary. NBC’s Brian Williams reports.

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>>> a huge birthday celebration here at 30 rock today. a lot of big names here to help us celebrate 60 years of the "today" show. it was like cooperstown and canton, ohio, all wrapped into one. a reunion, too. barbara walters and a slew of past hosts raising a glass together. we thought we would end tonight with household names americans have been sharing their mornings with all these decades and what they had to say looking back in their own words.

>> good morning.

>> good morning.

>> good morning.

>> good morning, all.

>> good morning.

>> good morning.

>> there it is, january 14, 1952 , when nbc began a new program called "today."

>> this show has been a witness to so much of what has shaped our lives over the last 60 years.

>> pat lever had the idea that the country, which was new to television at that time, would want a place to start its day to find out what happened overnight.

>> knowing where you're going and what the world is like you're going into. that sounds like a pretty big job.

>> dave gariway was a massive communicator. he could talk to people. he was a showman. the window was his ring.

>> we were in a big glassed-in fishbowl here. you can see the people looking in at us.

>> there was a time women were viewed as the "today" girl. back in those days the women were being chased around the desk. then there was barbara sitting at the desk and commanding attention.

>> barbara walters here this morning.

>> i got your question.

>> you certainly have.

>> as women evolved and women took a more prominent role in the work place, we took a more prominent role on the "today" show.

>> every woman on the "today" show is now a co-host. that's my legacy.

>> we are going to go live and show you a picture of the world trade center .

>> every single major news event in the history of these 60 years has been on this broadcast.

>> it's kind of like the open square where people come with ideas and where news is passed along. but we always had time for fun.

>> bryant, give me a hug.

>> another member of our cast, a very hard-working fellow named j. fred muggs .

>> he had a chimpanzee.

>> i hope the future of the "today" show is strongly tied to its past. i hope it continues to be a program that strives to inform people in an intelligent, worldly, sophisticated and hum yus way.