Today in Media History: ‘Well here we are…’ the Today show premiered in 1952

January 14, 2015
Category: Uncategorized

On January 14, 1952, the Today show premiered with host Dave Garroway.

He began with the following words:

“Well here we are, and good morning to you. The very first good morning of what I hope and suspect will be a great many good mornings between you and me. Here it is, January 14, 1952, when NBC begins a new program called Today and, if it doesn’t sound too revolutionary, I really believe this begins a new kind of television.”

7:00 a.m. EST.
The first nine minutes of the first Today show:

“The show’s first broadcast aired on January 14, 1952. It was the brainchild of Sylvester L. Weaver, Jr., who was then vice-president of NBC. Weaver was president of the company from 1953 to 1955, during which time Today’s late-night companion The Tonight Show premiered. In pre-production, the show’s proposed title was The Rise and Shine Revue.

Today was the first show of its genre when it signed on with original host Dave Garroway. The show blended national news headlines, in-depth interviews with newsmakers, lifestyle features, other light news and gimmicks (including the presence of the chimpanzee J. Fred Muggs as the show’s mascot during the early years)….”

— “Today” (This page also links to various video interviews.)
Archive of American Television

Today show chimpanzee J. Fred Muggs:

7:18 a.m. EST.
Time for the weather:

An online timeline was compiled for the program’s 60th anniversary webpage in 2012.

The show’s current site continues to use the past to tell the story of Today:

“NBC News pioneered the morning news program when it launched TODAY in 1952 with Dave Garroway as host. The live broadcast provides the latest in domestic and international news, weather reports, and interviews with newsmakers from the worlds of politics, business, media, entertainment and sports….Since the program’s premiere broadcast on January 14, 1952….”