Photo Credit: NBC
Today is a big day -- for Today! The Jan. 13, 2012, marked the 60th anniversary of the Today show, and NBC celebrated in style. "I look at 60 years as a major accomplishment, something we'll be able to tell our children about," current host Matt Lauer said in a video recap of Today's legacy. And to drive home just how much has been accomplished -- and how things have changed -- over that six-decade span, the show's anchors, both past and present, gathered to reminisce about their Today experiences. Watch the video below!
Hugh Downs, Barbara Walters, Jim Hartz, Tom Brokaw, Jane Pauley, Bryant Gumbel, Willard Scott, Deborah Norville, Katie Couric, Meredith Vieira, Matt Lauer, Ann Curry, Al Roker, Natalie Morales, Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie all gathered in Studio 1A to share their stories.
Several former Today Girls also joined the broadcast, including Florence Henderson, Estelle Parsons, Lee Meriwether, Robbin Bain Gaudieri and Beryl Pfizer.
The Today show has covered some of the most important and tragic events in our nation's history, from President John F. Kennedy's death to the tearing down of the Berlin Wall to the fall of the Twin Towers. Its anchors took time to reflect upon the many events they've covered and how it affected them.
Meredith Vieira recalled her time covering the shootings at Virginia Tech. "We had been to a candlelight vigil during the evening, and one of the students came up to me and he said to me, 'Can I just get a hug?'" she said. "This show was sort of a surrogate mom to him. We were his family."
To celebrate, Tom Hanks -- a guest on the show 22 times -- wheeled out a giant cake for the champagne toast. President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama also saluted the broadcast, saying, "The Today show has become a part of American culture."
Many landmarks across the United States have also paid homage to the show. The Empire State building and Niagara Falls were all lit up in red, yellow and orange -- Today's colors -- and the Goodyear Blimp congratulated the show with a special message while flying over the Hollywood sign.