Milestones: 29 Years Ago in TIME

In January 1971, when CARROLL O'CONNOR first introduced Archie Bunker to the American TV audience, CBS braced itself for a flood of protest calls. Instead, as TIME wrote 1 1/2 years later, the show sparked "a new era of candor" on TV.

Archie Bunker burst onscreen snorting and bellowing about "spades" and "spics" and "that tribe." He decried miniskirts, "bleeding heart" churchmen, food he couldn't put ketchup on and sex during daytime hours. He bullied his "dingbat" wife Edith and bemoaned his "weepin' Nellie atheist" daughter Gloria. Above all, he clashed with his liberal, long-haired son-in-law Mike Stivic, a "Polack pinko...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!