Milestones: 53 Years Ago in TIME

When MILTON BERLE turned to television in the fall of 1948, he took America with him. He had people watching and buying sets as never before. Eight months after his debut, his show was No. 1 by a wide margin, and he was on the cover of TIME.

As the clock nears 8 along the Eastern Seaboard on Tuesday night, a strange new phenomenon takes place in U.S. urban life. Business falls off in many a nightclub, theater-ticket sales are light, neighborhood movie audiences thin. Some late-hour shopkeepers close up for the night. In Manhattan, diners at Lindy's gulp their after-dinner...

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