On this day in history, 1959, the first show to be televised in color debuted. Bonanza was one of the longest running shows in history, running through the 1973 season. Airing 431 episodes, it was NBC’s longest running western and ranks second only to Gunsmoke overall.

The show was set in the 1880s in the area of Virginia City, Nevada. Starring Lorne Greene, Dan Blocker, Michael Landon, and Pernell Roberts, the western still maintains a close following today.

In 2002, Bonanza was ranked the 43rd greatest show in history by TV Guide. 

While I was a Gunsmoke person myself, I always appreciated the moral issues faced on Bonanza. While other westerns defined heroes as the guys with the fastest guns, Bonanza always had a message. In that regard, it stands apart from modern TV shows.

Like Bonanza, God wants us to live life in color. As in Bonanza, family still matters – a lot. I’m not naive. We aren’t ever going back to the “good ‘ol” days of Bonanza. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

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